May 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 2, 2012
Tony Pulis’ pride at being Stoke manager has not diminished since he was first appointed to the post 10 years ago – nor has his determination to keep pushing the club forward.
The Staffordshire outfit, hovering just above the second tier relegation zone when Pulis was named boss on November 1 2002, are now in their fifth successive Barclays Premier League season, with appearances in the 2011 FA Cup final and last term’s Europa League under their belts.
During his decade in charge – which is punctuated by a spell at Plymouth after he was dismissed by the Potters’ Icelandic owners at the end of 2004-05, only to return a year later following Peter Coates’ takeover – the Welshman has overseen a considerable transformation at the club.
“I can remember sitting in the Waddington Suite (at the Britannia Stadium) on my first night with the Icelandic directors saying I was very proud to manage Stoke City, and I still am very proud to manage this football club.
“It has been a fantastic time here. It has had ups and downs and it is difficult – football clubs are not easy to manage.
“But I’ve enjoyed it, and I hope people will look back and feel I’ve played my part in what we’ve done over the last 10 years.”
Meanwhile, Stoke defender Marc Wilson is set to be out of action for around three months after breaking his leg last weekend – although Pulis is optimistic the Republic of Ireland international’s recovery may be quicker.
Wilson sustained a fractured left fibula in last Saturday’s 0-0 league draw with Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium as he made a challenge on Black Cats striker Steven Fletcher, and had to be carried off on a stretcher.
Stoke this week indicated the 25-year-old was facing up to three months on the sidelines, but Pulis is hopeful it will not take that full duration for Wilson to return to fitness.
Pulis said: “It’s three months at least I think. But we are hoping, with the medical staff we have got and the way they overachieve in lots of respects, it might even be quicker than that – fingers crossed.”