Ollie hails Pulis philosophy

Published Dec. 10, 2010 1:15 p.m. EST

The Seasiders travel to Staffordshire on Saturday to face a Potters side who have gone from strength to strength under Pulis. With the Welshman at the helm, Stoke won promotion to the top flight in 2008 and have since notched impressive 12th and 11th-placed finishes. They currently lie 10th having drawn 2-2 on Saturday at Wigan, a match watched by Holloway, who believes Pulis - his former team-mate at Bristol Rovers - has fashioned an outfit who play better football than they are given credit for. "It will be a massive challenge - I watched them against Wigan last weekend and I thought they were terrific," Holloway said. "Never has a team had not enough written about them (as Stoke). Everyone talks about one thing and their fans have got some great songs about 'we only score from a throw-in' and all that sort of stuff. "But he has gradually stepped the level of their players up to a fantastic level and it will be an honour to take my team there and try to take them on. "I know how tough it is going to be - they have some brilliant players. Matt Etherington was almost unplayable at times (against Wigan) he was so sharp and so quick. "Then they have got Kenwyne Jones up front and Ricardo Fuller. It is phenomenal what he has done." However, when asked if he would like to know more from Pulis about what he has crafted at Stoke and how survival and progression in the Premier League is achieved, Holloway indicated he would prefer to focus on his own project at Bloomfield Road. "We all have our own group of players and we all need to manage them in a way that suits them," said Holloway, whose newly-promoted team have defied expectation by taking 19 points from their opening 15 games this term. "We all manage in our own shape and form - how we are as people - and what Tony does with his team is exactly right for Stoke City. "What I try to do might be totally different, but hopefully it will work for me and for my club. "When it comes to advice and knowledge, Tony is as good as anyone to ask because he has been there, seen it and done it. "I'll be trying to get what I can off him - but I want to beat his team at the weekend." One aspect of Pulis' approach Holloway has tried to replicate at Blackpool is the goal of steady improvement. There have been times since they came up where a push for European football has looked like a realistic target for Stoke - indeed it has already been mentioned this season - but Pulis has frequently stated that his aim is simply for the team to beat their points total from the previous year. The aim of bettering oneself step by step certainly makes sense to Holloway. "It is the challenge for all of us and Tony is where he is because he has had that philosophy all his life," Holloway said. "It has worked for him and he believes in it so much that he spreads it to everyone. "It's very infectious and my whole staff, everyone at the football club, is always trying to improve on what we did last week if at all possible. "I think that is what successful people try to do and Tony is certainly that."