Stoke City: Versatile Danny Pugh handed contract extension
STOKE boss Tony Pulis has handed Danny Pugh a 12-month contract extension and insisted: "It's not a sentimental decision," writes Martin Spinks.
Pugh has just one Premier League appearance to his name all season and is currently out on loan at Championship side Preston.
But Pulis says the 28 year-old midfielder, whose new deal now runs until 2013, still has a potentially vital role to play at the Britannia Stadium.
"Danny has been a brilliant signing for us," he said, "and is the kind of player and character you want to keep around.
"Everyone knows about his versatility and reliability as a player, but he's also played his part as a squad member behind the scenes.
"There's some players who will never be happy if they are out of the team, but there are others who get their head down and still play a part for the squad.
"Any squad is only as strong as the Danny Pughs of this world and that's why you are happy to have them with you."
Pugh has completed a month on loan at Preston, along with Stoke team-mate Michael Tonge, and both have just been allowed to remain there for a second month.
But Pulis explained: "We've got both of them on a 24-hour recall and that gives us and them the best of both worlds.
"It means they are still getting a regular game at Preston to sharpen them up, but we can also recall them right away if we have problems with injuries and suspensions."
Pugh, a £500,000 signing from Preston in 2007/08, last started a league game for Stoke against Arsenal at the end of February, but the popular Mancunian has already made four starts on loan at Preston.
Pulis has re-iterated his intention to send others out on loan after the congested festive programme and they are likely to be headed by defender Ryan Shotton following his successful stint at Barnsley last season.