Shawcross: Pulis deserves praise
Pulis is poised to become the first Welsh boss to lift the trophy since George Latham achieved that feat with Cardiff in 1927. A place in the FA Cup final for the first time and a meeting with Manchester City on May 14 at Wembley has been secured following a stunning 5-0 victory against Bolton on Sunday. Shawcross, 23, said: "Tony Pulis has been a legend for a long while. He's done so much for the club, to take us from where we were. "When I first joined we were struggling in the Championship and for him to take us all the way to the FA Cup final and hopefully a top-10 finish is massive. "He doesn't get enough credit for it. He's a very good man-manager and a very good manager." Englishman Fred Stewart was Cardiff's manager 84 years ago and Latham their coach when Arsenal were defeated 1-0. No Welsh manager or coach has lifted the Cup since then, the FA confirmed. It is little wonder Newport-born Pulis, 53, will savour the occasion when they meet Manchester City. He said: "It will mean a lot for me to lead the team out. I lost my mum this year. We used to sit round the TV and watch the FA Cup. "The players have embraced this like you can't believe and they will look forward to coming back to Wembley. "This victory will give them the confidence to give it a good go. We know we will be playing against a good football team, with great players and one that has great tradition." Stoke last won a major trophy in 1972 - the League Cup - and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup as well only to lose in controversial circumstances to Arsenal. Shawcross revealed that a talk from legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks helped spur them to victory on Sunday. He said: "We've had a lot of the 1972 team around with us at the training ground. We met Gordon Banks, who made a speech. "We've got to do it for them. They didn't get to the FA Cup final so it's up to us. "I've never been in a team where everyone's played as well. It was quite strange - I felt so confident we were going to win. "It was a massive feeling leading the team out in the semi-final but to do so in the final will be even better. "I'm just hoping that the lads won't be fazed and we can put on a big performance." Ecstatic chairman Peter Coates says Stoke deserve great credit for progressing to the final because of the money in the top flight. He told the Sentinel: "It is much more difficult to reach the final these days. "For 100 years or so it was a more level playing field but that's all changed over the last 25 years because of the money. "It was an amazing scoreline. Nobody would have predicted that. It's just fantastic. It was a great day and I thought every player was brilliant. "It was an amazing performance from manager, players and supporters. What a magnificent day for everyone. "For 147 years we have waited and now we are going to an FA Cup final. I'm very proud because it's a great achievement."