Belfast Telegraph

Pulis: League is the priority

Tony Pulis insists Stoke becoming established as a Premier League club is more important than possible FA Cup glory next month.

Pulis is full of pride at the Potters' achievement in clinching a Wembley meeting with Manchester City in three weeks. But he knows it is only the icing on the cake compared to Stoke staying part of the top flight and becoming a force at that level.

Pulis, whose side entertain Wolves in a re-arranged game on Tuesday night, said: "We are absolutely delighted that we've got to an FA Cup final. It's an absolutely brilliant achievement by the club. But the priority will always be the Premier League."

He added: "That's where we want to play, and the longer we are in the Premier League the club will grow because it will give us the finances to make it a stronger club.

"We are in the black, we have just built a brand new training ground, we are investing into other areas of the football club we would have never dreamt of if we hadn't got into the Premier League. The Premier League is the food and drink and the icing on the cake is the cup competitions."

Stoke are on the verge of guaranteeing a fourth successive season of Premier League football after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa took them to the 39-point mark.

Pulis said: "We have five more games to go and we've said all along we have to try to get as many points as we can from the games left."

The Stoke boss believes striker Kenwyne Jones is back to his best after a lean spell and he scored the opener at Villa Park with a superb header.

"I think he has 10 goals now this season. He's hitting form at the right time," said Pulis

"Forwards go up and down. Rooney had one spell earlier in the season. He's got quality and eventually you know that will come through."


From Belfast Telegraph