Charlie Adam can net Stoke City goals, insists Tony Pulis
CHARLIE Adam is being urged to throw his weight behind Stoke City's goalscoring efforts – starting at home to Sunderland today (3pm).
The 26-year-old Scotland international never got into his goalscoring stride at Liverpool after bagging just two in 27 starts last season.
Before that at Blackpool, however, he netted 28 in 75 starts in both the Championship and the Premier League.
And now boss Tony Pulis wants him to start repeating that kind of form by taking more shots and drifting into more dangerous areas.
His call comes after Adam produced his most influential display yet for Stoke during last weekend's 4-2 defeat at Manchester United.
"Last week was Charlie's best game," said Pulis.
"What we need to do with Charlie – and Michael Kightly – is integrate them into the system we want to play when we don't have the ball.
"He's a very good player and been great around the place with a bubbly attitude.
"We are also hoping we get goals off him as well."
Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher arrives at the Britannia today with five goals from his first six league games for the club following his summer move from Wolves.
Pulis has suggested he made an inquiry about the Scot earlier this year – and has no doubts he will be a hit on Wearside following his £12m move.
"I might have tried, but we tried with a lot of players," he said of his interest in Fletcher.
"I'm not surprised he's been a success. They paid a lot of money and it raised a lot of eyebrows, but he's certainly given them a good return.
"He might be one of the bargains of the season.
"He's in a team with two wingers that will get crosses into the box in Adam Johnson and James McClean.
"That was the same at Wolves with Kightly and Matt Jarvis.
"He's a strong lad and puts himself about, but I also think he's got good ability.
"He's good in the box, takes good positions, he's always on the move and his scoring record is first class."
Sunderland have added free agent James McFadden to their squad after signing the former Everton and Scotland striker on a three-month contract.
Pulis, meanwhile, is expected to keep faith with Geoff Cameron at right-back and Dean Whitehead in midfield against his old club.
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is predicting Stoke will now grow strong after a tough start to their fifth Premier League campaign.
"With Stoke, regardless of how they start the season, they find themselves, click into gear and get stronger as the season goes on," said O'Neill.
"Last year they had the Europa League and were playing in that in February time against Valencia. So it was a long season for them.
"They don't have that this season and they will get stronger."