Belfast Telegraph

Pulis hails Stoke's unsung heroes

Much of the focus will be on Stoke's former Tottenham players ahead of the clash between the two clubs on Sunday but manager Tony Pulis believes his team's unsung heroes deserve some credit.

Record signing Peter Crouch, Jonathan Woodgate and Wilson Palacios all left White Hart Lane in the summer and will be looking to impress at the Britannia Stadium.

But the Potters boss singled out the likes of Marc Wilson and fellow defender Andy Wilkinson for praise, saying: "Marc Wilson doesn't get the credit he deserves People talk about Ryan Shawcross, Matthew Upson, Robert Huth and Woodgate but Wilson has been outstanding this season."

Wilson was signed as a midfielder from Portsmouth in the summer of last year, but has played left-back for most of his 12 Barclays Premier League appearances.

Pulis added: "For a player who is more of a midfielder than a full-back he has done fantastically well for us.

"He has so much quality when he gets the ball it is not just his defending, it is his ability with it which is great for this club.

"I see him eventually growing into a position, but he just wants to play and will play up front or wide just to get in the team."

Wilkinson, a genuine full-back, began the season in Pulis' Europa League team but has started three of their last four league matches.

He injured his back in training on Thursday and is a doubt for Sunday's match.

"We need Wilko. He is a very good defender for us and they have two very good wide players (Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale) we need full-backs who can compete," added Pulis. "It will be a disappointment if he is not fit."

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