Pulis amused by long-throw copycats
Stoke manager Tony Pulis is amused by teams copying the Potters’
long throw-ins after two years of disparaging comments about them.
Even Fabio Capello got a glimpse of what a useful option Rory
Delap can be as the England coach was at Eastlands on Saturday
evening to see Ricardo Fuller get on the end of a mighty throw to
earn Stoke an FA Cup fifth-round replay with Manchester City.
For Pulis it is nothing new. And now he sees others are
following his lead.
“We create other chances and opportunities apart from through
Rory’s throws,” he said.
“It’s funny though, every time I turn the TV on now someone
is throwing it long.
“Gareth Bale does it for Tottenham and I watched
Southampton’s FA Cup tie against Portsmouth and one of their lads
was picking it up and throwing it into the box.
“People do it. It is just that we might do it better than
Pulis admitted a February 24 replay was the last thing he
wanted, although his side were worthy of a second go.
Stoke’s concern is the number of injuries they might pick up
and given Matthew Etherington, Liam Lawrence and Andy Wilkinson are
being assessed after suffering problems that could become
long-term, Pulis’ fears may be justified.
Nevertheless, with another meeting against City looming in
the Premier League on Tuesday, Pulis can take great heart from
Stoke’s performance on Saturday.
And he also knows there is unlikely to be a repeat of the
defensive catastrophe Ryan Shawcross suffered to gift Shaun
Wright-Phillips his first-half opener.
“Ryan should have done better with the goal,” admitted Pulis
of the defender’s initial fresh air shot at the ball before, having
fallen, he prevented it from bouncing out of play by putting his
head on it to give Wright-Phillips a tap-in.
“The first ball that got behind us was disappointing but he
still should have done better.
“But, credit to Ryan, he picked himself up and had a good
game in the end.”