Pulis accepts Potters lack quality

Pulis cannot fault his forwards for effort, but as Stoke have

failed to score in five of their last six matches, they are in

desperate need of a spark in front of goal. James Beattie, Ricardo

Fuller, Tuncay and Mamady Sidibe have just four goals between them

in 19 Premier League games so far this season. If Stoke are to

avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight over the second half

of the campaign, then goals are urgently required. “We need a

little bit more quality in front of goal, as much as anything else,

because we’ve lost our touch,” remarked Pulis in the wake of his

side’s 1-0 defeat to Birmingham on Monday. “I can’t fault any of

them (the strikers). I’ve played the four of them again and they’ve

all gone on and given it their best. “We know Beattie can score

goals; Ricardo Fuller has proven he can score goals at this level,

and Tuncay has scored goals for Middlesbrough. “We know Mama

(Sidibe) is not a top goalscorer. He is a different type of player

for us, but the other three have all scored goals at this level.”

Pulis splashed out £5.5million on Beattie and Matthew

Etherington last January, and both played their part in helping the

Potters to a highly-respectable 12th in the league last season.

Commenting on the transfer window, Pulis added: “It was important

last year, and it will be important this year. “There are one or

two areas we need to strengthen. We’ve been looking for someone to

control the midfield for us for a long time. “Those players are

difficult to get hold of, but we are looking. “It’s important we

bring the right players in because we need the spirit the players

here already have. “After the defeats to Manchester City and Aston

Villa, where they played exceptionally well, they could have

dropped their heads. “But against Birmingham they rolled their

sleeves up, had a right go, and it’s so disappointing we haven’t

got our just reward. “We just have to get on with things. The

important thing is the players keep believing, and keep working as

hard as they did against Birmingham. “Nobody hid from the ball,

nobody stopped running and chasing. I thought some of the quality

at times was first class.” There is one signing Pulis cannot make,

but again he is eagerly searching for, and that is luck which he

feels has been against Stoke of late. “We just need a little bit of

good fortune as much as anything else,” added Pulis. “If anybody

has any leftover lady luck for me for the beginning of the year

then it will be welcome. “A little bit of luck, that’s what I’ll

hope and pray for in the new year because we certainly haven’t had

it in the last six to seven weeks.”