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1. Stoke are still hanging on in there within touching distance of a number of established Premier League sides. Most of the football experts have written you off. Can you avoid relegation and how would you sum up your season to date?
Touch and go to be very honest. We’ve been very pleased with our home form, but have been let down by some terrible away performances.
2. Outside of the 0-0 draw with Liverpool you’ve lost five of your last six league games. But those defeats haven’t been for lack of effort. Indeed, you’ve suffered some cruel results. What’s been going both right and wrong?
Tony Pulis has managed to keep the great atmosphere in the dressing room from last season going into this one. There was an uncharacteristic breakdown in togetherness with the Fuller/Griffin sending off against West Ham but that is hopefully water under the bridge.
Our main problems are that we’ve suffered with an inability to take our chances when they’re offered, a naivety that sometimes makes us easy prey to a late goal or two as against Man U on Boxing Day then Chelsea the other week and the recurring knack to let in three quick first half goals which kill off the game as we’ve seen in the away games against Blackburn, Bolton and Spurs.
3. If you were Tony Pulis, what would be the direction of your team talk before sending your players out to meet Man City this weekend?
At home, our form is far better than away from the Brit. Another full house does give us an edge and the players have needed no motivation so far. He’ll just tell them, as usual, to keep it tight and the pressure on.
4. What’s your verdict on the vitriol dished out to Man City, most notably by sports hacks this past fortnight?
I was looking forward to seeing Kaka and I know so were many other Potters fans, but it’s no different to the all those ‘pundits’ who said that we’d struggle to pick up any points at the start of the season.
We all know how bad news about any club is always more interesting to other clubs’ fans and thick skins are needed when you’re the ‘richest club in the world.’
5. ‘The City Three Step challenge:’ What comes into your head when you think of Manchester City? Give us first the image you see, second the feeling you get and third the word that sums us up…
Camels, envy, money!
6. ‘Six Plus Five:’ FIFA President Sepp Blatter is continuing his campaign to impose a maximum quota of five overseas players on every English team. Do you agree or disagree with his proposal?
Disagree – we’d not have an eleven to put out, but I do have some sympathy as it should raise the quality of English players over time.
7. What’s your prediction for Saturday?
1-1. James Beattie to score on his home debut, but Robinho to get a late goal for a draw.
Very many thanks and respect to Chris and The Vital Stoke team. Another cracking interview.
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