Stoke City: Players deserve credit for conduct during Everton game, says Tony Pulis
TONY Pulis has praised his players for turning the other cheek when it got tasty against Everton at the weekend.
Skipper Ryan Shawcross was singled out for particular praise after he refused to seek retribution or make a meal of his clash with Marouane Fellaini.
• GALLERY: Match Action: Stoke City 1 Everton 1
The Belgian striker was expected to be charged with violent conduct by the FA today after referee Mark Halsey missed his head-butt on Shawcross in the second half of Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Britannia.
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"The team deserve a lot of credit for not making what they could have made out of it," said Pulis. "That's the kind of group we are."
And in a dig at others in the Premier League, he added: "I'd like to have seen it done to a few clubs and a few players at those other clubs."
Fellaini himself issued a statement owning up to his guilt, saying: "I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross. I have no excuses. I was disappointed with the way I was being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me."
Both Pulis and Everton boss David Moyes agreed that Fellaini was facing the likely prospect of a lengthy ban after cameras caught him clearly making contact with Shawcross to send the City skipper sprawling at a second-half corner.
Pulis also pointed to two other incidents involving Fellaini on Shawcross during a game he felt his side could have won following a fine second-half comeback.
"I thought we took the game to them second half," he stated. "In the first half we were a bit tentative and a bit in awe of them.
"The best thing that happened for us was half-time because they had a chance to make it 2-0 and then it would have been a different game.
"I thought the attitude of the group was fantastic in the second half. We released ourselves and got 20 yards further up the pitch. When the vibrant atmosphere gets going it's like a pulse running through the players and after equalising I thought we could go on and win the game."
Kenwyne Jones scored his first Premier League goal for 16 months as Stoke equalled their Premier League record of seven matches unbeaten and extended their undefeated league record at the Britannia to 15 matches.
"It was a great header from him," Pulis continued. "He's done smashing because he's had to wait his chance.
"I thought that after he scored his confidence really flowed and he caused them trouble.
"He only got tired at the end because he hasn't played that many games."
Pulis was deciding today if Michael Owen would feature in tonight's Central League Cup tie at Rotherham as part of his comeback towards full fitness.
He says Owen, who hasn't played since a hamstring injury in late October, needs at least another week's training and maybe a reserve or behind-closed-doors friendly.