Tony Pulis has accused Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger of being a bad loser and insists Stoke are not a dirty team. Wenger caused controversy 48 hours after Saturday's 2-1 defeat for the Gunners when he suggested that some Stoke players had set out to deliberately injure his side and claimed they were "cowards". Pulis said: "We have to accept that if you beat certain teams they're not going to take it that well.
"There are people who are good losers and there are people who are bad losers." Pulis has called on referee Mike Riley, tomorrow's man-in-the-middle for their game at Wigan, to ignore the hype surrounding Wenger's allegation that Ryan Shawcross and Rory Delap deliberately tried to injure Arsenal stars Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott respectively. Pulis was critical of Wenger, especially as the Arsenal coach was initially complimentary about the Potters' performance immediately after the game.
"The worry for me is that the perception of us being a dirty team will affect the judgement of referees. "We played Man City away from home two weeks ago and didn't have one player booked." Pulis rejected the suggestion that Stoke's style of play was stifling creativity in the game. "It's not a netball game, it's a competitive game. Everyone likes that and everyone enjoys that in this country. I don't think we're stifling the talent.
"Our kids are encouraged to pass the ball and to play football and enjoy their football." The Portsmouth manager Tony Adams is seeking to enlist the services of the former Holland international Dennis Bergkamp as he searches for his first win since taking over from Harry Redknapp. Adams fears that he may not be given the time to be successful at Fratton Park even as his team travels to Sunderland. Since taking over, Adam's boys have drawn 1-1 with Fulham at home, lost 1-0 at Liverpool and were defeated by Wigan 2-1 last week.
Sunderland have offered their striker Michael Chopra on loan to Cardiff for two months. Chopra had only one start in five appearances this season. West Ham are up against Everton and it will be difficult to stem the rot of four defeats and a draw against a side with a decent run and seventh on the table. David Moyes' men drew 1-1 with Manchester United and had back-to-back 1-0 wins over Bolton and Fulham.
Meanwhile, the Hull City coach Phil Brown said he will shrug off sentimentality when his former side Bolton travel to east Yorkshire. Brown played for the Trotters for six years in the late 1980s and worked as caretaker manager at the turn of the decade. "Hull City are now my club. They pay my wages and I will have an allegiance to them between 3 pm and 5 pm," Brown said. * Agencies