Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Jonathan Walters, right, and Stoke City beat FC Thun 1-0 in Europe this week. They have been in the Premier League for three seasons.
Jonathan Walters, right, and Stoke City beat FC Thun 1-0 in Europe this week. They have been in the Premier League for three seasons.

Pulis backs the new boys in the league

Stoke were favourites for relegation following their promotion to the Premier League in 2008, but they have since become a team hard to beat and are playing in Europe this season.

Tony Pulis, the Stoke City manager, believes all three of the Premier League's newest members can make a positive impression in the top flight this season.

Having been favourites to go straight back down when they were promoted in 2008, Stoke have defied their critics to establish themselves in the Premier League, and they are often cited by managers as an example to follow.

Last season they finished 13th, their lowest final position during their three Premier League campaigns, but secured a place in Europe by reaching the FA Cup final.

Of this season's promoted sides, Paul Lambert's Norwich City, Stoke's opponents today, began their campaign in promising fashion with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic. Although Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City were both beaten 4-0, Pulis believes they have what it takes to do well. Both QPR and Swansea got their first points of the season yesterday.

"We have had our way of doing things and we've stuck very rigidly to building up over three years, and they will learn as they go along," Pulis said. "I think the three clubs have got very good managers. You look at Paul Lambert, [QPR's Neil] Warnock and Brendan [Rodgers], and they have all done fantastic jobs in getting their teams promoted.

"It is a different challenge and a different set of rules. It is not a level playing field. You learn very quickly and you have to take things on board."

Lambert has challenged his side to build on their opening draw at Wigan today at Carrow Road.

"Stoke got to the FA Cup final and on into Europe, so that shows you the magnitude of the task we have got," he said. "But we are at home, and we have to try to win. We have to earn the right to play - and if you do not get hold of the ball, then we will be in trouble."

In today's other game, Wolverhampton Wanderers host Fulham in a rematch of a controversial encounter last season.

Bobby Zamora broke his leg in a challenge with Wolves midfielder Karl Henry in September, ruling the England international out for five months. Then Fulham captain Danny Murphy accused Mick McCarthy's side of being too "pumped up" a couple of weeks later, leading to back-and-forth comments between the two camps.

However, Martin Jol, Fulham's new manager, said he was unaware of any bad blood between the teams.

"I should be aware of it, but I am not aware of it," said the Dutchman, who was appointed as Fulham coach in the summer. "From what I've seen of Wolves, they are a strong, physical team.

"They are very difficult to beat away from home but, as some teams proved last year, you need a bit of luck, quality and players that can make the difference.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National