Tony Pulis believes that relegation-threatened Stoke’s awful season can still prove their best yet, reports The
The Potters’ best points tally since arriving in the Premier League was 47, which they achieved in 2010. However, a win over Norwich on Saturday afternoon would take them to the general safe guideline of 40 points – and give them hope that they could still mathematically top their previous best.
Stoke have won only twice in 2013, and this form has seen them fall at an alarming rate from around the European places into a bitter relegation scrap.
Pulis, however, believes that this season has provided the first dip in Stoke’s fortunes after being on the rise for the past few years.
He said: “This season is the first dip we’ve had. We had a six- or seven-year climb and this is the first dip we’ve had.
“But if we have a good end to the season, we could still finish with more points than we’ve had in the previous five years.”
Pulis has attributed the club’s generally poor season to a number of factors, most notably injuries to key men such as Matt Etherington, who has been struggling with back and hamstring injuries.
He hit out at critics’ claims that the club’s fans are growing bored of his “limited” style of football, indicating that this season has been one of transition and that a conscious effort has been made to alter the players’ approach to games.
He continued: “I think we have made an effort to play a different style of football this season.
“I think we have played much better. We approach games in a much more positive way, than we have in previous seasons.
“We have brought in Steven Nzonzi, who has been a better footballer, Charlie Adam has been a better footballer as well.”
Pulis admits, however, that now is the time to focus on the task at hand, and ensure survival in England’s top flight, starting with the visit of Norwich on Saturday.
“It was an excellent win at Queens Park Rangers, a result which I felt had been coming for some time, and we want to build on that now,” he stated.
“The feeling after the win at Loftus Road was very much that we had finally got what we deserved out a game. We had been going into matches with the confidence and belief, but hadn’t been coming out of them with it because of results.
“It’s the results that are the key because performances have certainly not been as bad as some people have made them out to be. In fact, on a number of occasions we have either shot ourselves in the foot or have not got what we deserved.”
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