Pre-Wembley tests upset Pulis

BY foxsports • May 20, 2011

The Potters' preparations for the Wembley showdown with Manchester City were interrupted by the unscheduled request last Friday. They went on to lose the game 1-0 and Pulis was left fuming having discovered that City had not been required to take part in a similar test in the build-up to the match. "We were told we were the only team that they did it on, which I thought was pretty disappointing," Pulis said. "When you think it is a final of a blue riband tournament, to have people turning up the day before and only to one team - and they also did us after the game. "It is a random drug test, they say. That was really random, picking on us twice in two days." It is standard procedure for the FA to carry out random drug tests on players without giving clubs any notice. Independent sampling officers from UK Anti-Doping are accompanied by an FA supervising officer, who is either a doctor or physiotherapist approved by the FA. Asked if he would be making an official complaint to the FA about the matter, Pulis said: "I've got to be very careful what I say about anybody, never mind the FA, just in case I get fined. "We were really disappointed with it - for me, it was a bad, bad call. But like I said, I have to be very careful of sometimes speaking the truth." Earlier this week Pulis was warned by the FA as to his future conduct following comments he made about referee Howard Webb. The 53-year-old fell foul of new rules stipulating managers should not speak about match officials prior to a game, having praised the appointment of Webb for the Potters' FA Cup semi-final against Bolton last month. It has not been the best few days for Pulis, with Stoke also losing 3-0 to City in the Barclays Premier League on Tuesday night. Overall, though, his team have had a hugely impressive season. Their cup run earned the Staffordshire outfit a place in next season's Europa League and they go into Sunday's final league fixture against Wigan at the Britannia Stadium lying ninth in the table, on course for their highest finish since being promoted to the top-flight in 2008. "The two trips to Wembley (for the semi-final and final) were fantastic and the fact that we have got into Europe is also an unbelievable achievement for the football club," Pulis said. "But the greatest achievement is that that we are going to have our fourth consecutive year in the Premier League. These are fantastic times." Pulis will assess the fitness of key men Matthew Etherington (hamstring), Jermaine Pennant (ankle) and Robert Huth (knee), all of whom played against City in the final last Saturday but missed the league encounter three days later. Striker Kenwyne Jones and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic may come back into the side after they were rested in midweek.


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