Delap pleased by Potters evolution

Stoke developed a reputation as being a long-ball outfit in their

first season in the Premier League in 2008/09 but Pulis has added

the likes of Matthew Etherington, Tuncay, Eidur Gudjohnsen and

Jermaine Pennant since then. The Potters currently lie seventh in

the table, ninth in the Fair Play league and against Blackburn last

weekend played with two out-and-out wingers in Etherington and

Pennant. Delap insists their style of play after promotion was

neccessary to ensure survival but he is happy they are now looking

to play a more expansive game. He told the Stoke Sentinel: “People

go on about us being a long-ball team and relying on set-pieces.

Well, we had to do a job to get in the league and stay in the

league, but now we are looking to progress. “Having players such as

Matt Etherington, Jermaine Pennant, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Kenwyne Jones

and Ricardo Fuller shows the way we are looking to go. “But it

won’t be an immediate change, it has to be slow.” Some pundits have

been so impressed by Stoke’s recent form that they have tipped the

club to claim a European place this season, but Delap is taking a

more cautious view. “The first thing we are concentrating on is

staying in the league,” he added. “Survival is the main thing,

although we want to progress and finish higher than we did last

year. If we can do that then the season has to be seen as

successful. “People outside the club can carry on talking about

Europe, but it is not going to make any difference to us. No one is

talking about it around here.”