stoke city news

Pulis planning to cement Stoke's top flight place

May 17, 2009

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has a three-year plan aimed at making the club a consistent force in the Premier League.

The 2-0 victory over Wigan was their 10th league win at the Britannia Stadium and lifted the Potters above their opponents into 11th place.

Their tally of 45 points - all but 10 of which have come at home - puts them 11 clear of the relegation zone, which is a remarkable achievement for a club who were pre-season relegation favourites.

But Pulis has stressed Stoke cannot rest on their laurels and the long-term aim has to be to about replicating such form on a regular basis.

``The next two or three years will be vital,'' said the Stoke boss. ``We have done it this year but we need at least to have three years and over those three years then you can put in place stuff to push the club on.

``We need to consolidate next year and the year after. There is a lot of work to be done, a lot of things to be put in place. We are miles behind lots and lots of clubs but we have stayed up and we must make sure we plan and prepare properly for next season.

``The biggest thing we have is that this club can grow through the supporters and that is very important. The bottom line is this is a very good football club and I think it deserves to be in the Premier League.''

The players enjoyed a deserved lap of honour after the final whistle and Pulis praised the character of his squad.

``The Premier League is a relentless league and it is difficult to manage in it because you are playing against clubs week in, week out who have more resources and bigger squads,'' he said.

``We have to be 100% every week, right on that mark and if we are not we get beat. I don't think there has been many occasions when we haven't given it a crack.

``I'm not saying we have always played well but every week the players have turned up and given it a go and that has been part of our success.''