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Pulis demands rethink on friendlies

Tony Pulis

Stoke manager Tony Pulis believes there would be a marked reduction in the number of international friendlies if national associations were required to pay the wages of players.

Controversy arose out of England's 2-1 defeat to France on Wednesday night when Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who was expected to play for only an hour, was kept on for 85 minutes before eventually coming off with a hamstring injury.

"For full-blooded international games, proper games when they are qualifying for a major tournament, then there is no problem with sending the players away," said Pulis.

"There is nothing better than playing for your country but that is in proper games not friendly matches and I think it has shown again with the team Capello played.

"He has played a lot of young players and given people a chance but they are like pre-season games.

"If they want to do friendly matches then they should pay the wages and if they come back injured they should look after all of that.

"I think that would see friendly games dramatically subside.

"What did they get at Wembley, 85,000? That is helping to pay for the stadium as much as anything else in my opinion."