Stoke City: Kenwyne Jones to miss out on Newcastle United start
KENWYNE Jones could be kept waiting until the weekend for his long-awaited first Premier League start of the season.
The big Trinidadian had been pencilled in to kick off against Newcastle tomorrow (7.45pm) because the fixture falls in the middle of a three-game week for Stoke.
But manager Tony Pulis might now keep him under wraps until Saturday's trip to West Brom after being impressed with Peter Crouch's performance against Fulham three days ago.
"I'm still looking at that one," said the Stoke boss. "I'll take a long, hard look into the eyes of the players before deciding if and what changes to make.
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"Because of how the fixtures have fallen, it might be that I make more changes for the West Brom game than the Newcastle game."
Stoke go into tomorrow's game as clear favourites, unthinkable not so long ago, because of their hot home form and Newcastle's demise to 14th in the table after a hat-trick of league defeats.
But Pulis says there is no excuse for complacency after going 13 unbeaten at home – and is urging fans to keep their foot on the throttle.
"I saw Newcastle lose at Southampton on Sunday," said Pulis, "and it was another example of just how important a home crowd is to a home victory.
"Our fans have been proving that for many years and it's fantastic they are still doing it after four-and-a-half seasons in the Premier League.
"There is an umbilical cord between our fans and our players – and it's a connection that is pivotal to our success.
"But our fans cannot afford to relax for one second, they must get right behind the players because things can change so quickly in this league.
"Newcastle are extremely dangerous, as they showed when they won here 12 months ago, and that's why I'm asking our fans to lift the roof again."