Pulis hails Walters contribution

BY foxsports • April 8, 2011

Walters has netted in the Potters' last two games to take his tally to nine in an impressive first season at the Britannia Stadium following his move from Ipswich in August. Jones, Stoke's record signing, cost more than twice as much as Walters when he joined the club from Sunderland for £8million a few days earlier, but the Trinidad and Tobago international's total so far this term is seven goals, and the last of those came on January 1. Regardless of their respective strike-rates, though, Pulis has been delighted with the form of both players. "Jon has been a breath of fresh air, even when he wasn't scoring goals," Pulis said. "His effort and commitment to the football club has been fantastic and he is the type of player that every club needs. "Whether he is playing well or not, you always get the same from Jon and sometimes those players don't get appreciated. "I think the crowd have started to take to him because he's scored some goals, but take those goals away and I still think he has been absolutely fantastic this year. "What we try to emphasise at this football club is that it is not the person who scores the goals that we are worried about - we are more concerned about the performance of the team. "If it's Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth, Jermaine Pennant or Matthew Etherington and there are no forwards involved in scoring the goals, if we win games, that takes nothing away from the forwards." On Jones, he added: "Kenwyne's last three or four games have been absolutely fantastic." Stoke take on Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday having lost their last six league games on the road. It is a run that needs halting, although Pulis believes results have not been reflecting the Potters' efforts on their travels. "I think we have played better away from home this year than we have done in the previous two years in the Premier League - we just haven't had results," he said. "We've been in games and even in the ones where we have been looking to win it, we've ended up losing, but that is the Premier League for you. "What you've got to do, whether you win, lose or draw is take it on the chin and move on. "If it's six games we've lost, it's since games we've lost - the important thing is that we go to Tottenham in a positive frame of mind and give it our best." With Stoke only six points above the Premier League relegation zone, Pulis is keen that his players are not distracted by the prospect of next Sunday's Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Bolton, although he thinks the 1-1 draw with Chelsea last weekend "spoke volumes" for the group in that respect. "It was a good game and I thought we came on strong at the end as well, which was encouraging for us," Pulis said. "It's probably the best we have played against one of the top sides since we have been in the Premier League." Pulis is optimistic recent absentee John Carew, missing for three games with a back problem, will feature against Spurs, but Stoke will be without Danny Higginbotham, who could be facing up to six months out due to a cruciate knee ligament injury he sustained in the Chelsea game. The manager feels Higginbotham can still play a vital role, though, and told the club's official website: "We'll make sure Danny is as involved as the other players in the semi-final. "We want him there because he is good around the other players. "He's got a lot of experience and that will be crucial on an occasion like this. "He can certainly still have a major influence upon what happens on the day." He added: "He's a terrific lad and this is desperately disappointing for him because it was an innocuous challenge which caused the injury. "It's difficult to say at this point how long he will be out of action other than to say he will miss the rest of this season. "We have to wait for the knee to settle down before he has an operation and that will determine the length of his absence." Pulis has also revealed that he took his squad to London to see Wembley on Monday.

share story