Pulis proud of Potters progress
Stoke survived against all the odds in their debut Premier League campaign, eventually finishing in mid-table, and they have build on that success this time around. Wednesday's 1-0 win at Fulham elevated them to 10th and also saw them surpass last season's points total - something few sides have managed since the inauguration of the Premier League in 1992. They are now fimly established as a top-flight team but, rather than get carried away, Pulis is keen to keep his feet firmly on the ground. Asked whether this season is a greater achievement, he said: "I think it is. "It's been harder to manage this year than it was last year. It's been a tougher season for us because it was the second season. "There's lots of things that are put in your way and lots of obstacles that you have to overcome. "The highlight of the season, obviously, is getting the points tally needed to stay up. "If Nottingham Forest were to get through the Championship play-offs then they will join Newcastle and West Brom, and then I think we will still be the club with the least amount of Premier League experience. "So we mustn't get too far ahead of ourselves at this football club and we've got to realise and recognise where we are." On registering 47 points, he added: "It's very, very pleasing. "It's something we shouldn't get blase about, something we shouldn't really take for granted. "It's a great achievement for me as manager of this football club, for the players and for the supporters who have been completely and totally behind us." Stoke's success on the pitch has at times this season been overshadowed by events off it following reports of separate dressing room bust-ups between Pulis and James Beattie after the defeat at Arsenal in December and that of captain Abdoulaye Faye and Glenn Whelan following the club's 7-0 drubbing at Chelsea. Pulis, though, insists the dressing room spirit is as good as ever - as proved by their response to that humiliation at Stamford Bridge. "That (the spirit) has never been in question, irrespective of what people might say," said Pulis. "There's a great spirit in the dressing room, great togetherness and they're a very, very strong group of players. Good characters. "That dressing room has been very solid for quite a few years now."