Pulis amused by long-throw copycats

BY foxsports • February 14, 2010

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 others."

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."

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