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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Pulis eyes survival on anniversary

Ian Edwards

Tony Pulis wants to avoid any final-day nerves and secure Stoke City's sixth successive season in the Premier League in the perfect manner - on the day of the club's150th anniversary.

Monday night's draw with Sunderland leaves Stoke still needing one more victory to be certain of avoiding relegation to the Championship - with Spurs heading to the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.

While Pulis is disappointed his side could not take advantage of playing against a Sunderland side with ten men for almost an hour, to secure the victory which would have seen them mathematically safe, he is delighted for the chance to do so in front of home fans and the possibility of a double celebration.

Stoke consolidated their position in 11th in the table with the point from the 1-1 draw and Pulis wants a determined push against Spurs and a victory which will take all the pressure off their final day trip to face relegation threatened Southampton at St Marys Stadium.

He has challenged his players to mark the club's milestone in the ideal manner, saying: "We're almost there now and we have the chance to make it a day of double celebration.

"To secure a sixth season in the Premier League when the club is marking its 150th anniversary would be perfect. That is something that we have to aim for."

In his five seasons in the top flight, Pulis has never known the relegation issue be so tight and nerve wracking, adding: "In any other season I think we would be done and dusted now in terms of safety with 41 points.

"But it is incredibly tight down there and there are still some big, big clubs below us who are fighting for their lives to stay in this league.

"It is very surreal when you look at the table and if it means we still have to get a point or two from our final two matches then that is what we will have to go out and do.

"We are unbeaten in our last three games and we are on 41 points and 11th in the table so we are very pleased with that position."




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