Pulis refuses to break bank

Pulis says there is “no question” that his squad needs further

strengthening before next week’s transfer deadline, but he would

rather miss out on deals than force the club into upping their wage

structure. Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson – both of whom were

previously free agents – remain the only new arrivals at the

Britannia Stadium this summer. Pulis revealed that he recently

missed out on a signing at the last minute, but he is willing to

accept knockbacks if players are unwilling to sign on Stoke’s

terms. Pulis is, however, still hopeful of adding up to five new

players before the deadline. “I think everybody knows we have to

bring players in – I don’t think there is any question from the top

of the football club right down,” Pulis said. “Even the youngest

supporters will be looking and saying, ‘Why haven’t we brought

players in?’. “But it is about making sure we do it the way we do

it as a football club – that is very important for us. “We’ll do

our business the way we do – we will be open and honest with the

clubs we are dealing with, and once we’ve done those deals, we’ll

let you all know. We are hoping to bring some in if we can. “We’ve

got a wage structure that we want to keep to. We miss out on deals,

and we have to be big enough to accept that. “If supporters get a

little bit disappointed with it, then so be it – it won’t be the

first time we’ve missed out on deals because we’ve said no.” Stoke

have the demands of a Europa League campaign to deal with this

season, with at least six more fixtures in the competition

guaranteed for them if they emerge victorious from their play-off

tie against FC Thun to qualify for the group stage. The Potters go

into the second leg at home on Thursday night with a 1-0 advantage

from last week’s initial meeting in Switzerland. It is the

scoreline by which they have won all three of their games in the

tournament so far, and Pulis feels Stoke’s commitment to playing in

Europe is clear. Asked if he really wanted to get into the Europa

League group stage, Pulis said: “Have a look at the results – we

are unbeaten in three games and have picked strong teams for all of

them. That should answer your question.” Upson made his Stoke debut

in the contest against Thun last week and is looking to force his

way into the reckoning for the Potters’ Premier League matches. “I

want to play as many games as I can,” Upson said. “I’ve had a bit

of a slow start in terms of what my pre-season consisted of. “I

worked pretty hard by myself but I haven’t the minutes on the pitch

that you would get in pre-season friendlies together with the

squad. “But I’m pleased with what shape I am in.”