Stoke City: Cameron Jerome set for more bench duty after Reading winner
TONY Pulis hailed the latest match-winning efforts of Stoke super-sub Cameron Jerome by declaring: "He's staying on the bench!"
Jerome scored his fourth goal from the bench since late November after smashing home Stoke's second in Saturday's 2-1 win over Reading.
But Pulis is standing firm for now on the 26-year-old striker's case for a starting place in his first 11.
"I think Cameron is a great impact player for us when the game is stretched and people are starting to get tired," Pulis argued.
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"His pace and power is fantastic and, as a centre-half, he's a player you wouldn't want to see coming off the bench."
He acknowledged that Jerome – who has started just eight league games and been sub 29 times in his 18 months at Stoke – was frustrated at being confined to the bench, but insisted that was no problem behind the scenes.
"His attitude is fantastic," Pulis stressed. "He doesn't sulk, he just gets on with it.
"You show me a player who thinks he shouldn't start and I'll show you a player who shouldn't be playing."
Pulis, who jetted out of the country yesterday to watch a game abroad, admitted he was relieved by a deserved win over Reading to record Stoke's first win of 2013.
"It was lovely to come out of the run the way we did. We went 10 unbeaten and everybody is singing and dancing, then we go six without a win and people are moaning and groaning and throwing stats at you.
"You just keep level about it and keep your feet on the ground. That's been one of our big strengths in the Premier League."
Marc Wilson has been told he could be pencilled into the squad for Stoke's next outing at Fulham in just over a fortnight if he carries on his recent recovery from a broken leg.
Wilson is expected to play in a couple more reserve or friendly matches over the next fortnight – including a behind-closed-doors game tomorrow – when Pulis will also be running his eye over American newcomer Brek Shea.
"Marc was really close to this squad (v Reading) and now we've got a chance over the next two weeks to get him fit," said Pulis.
Match report and analysis: Pages 44-47