Stoke City: TP joy as Potters see off 'boring' Swansea
TONY Pulis saluted Stoke's earnest efforts in defeating a stylish Swansea yesterday – and then suggested Stokies could become bored watching such slow football at the Britannia Stadium.
First-half goals from Matthew Upson and Peter Crouch underlined Stoke's superiority at set-pieces as they ended a run of four successive Premier League defeats.
Pulis applauded Swansea's sweet passing game, but believes Stoke fans would soon become impatient with their more methodical build-up play.
"I have to say the way Swansea play is a credit to Brendan Rodgers and his coaching staff," said Pulis.
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"They keep the ball everywhere. They play a very continental style and are happy to go back, square and sideways, but I'm not so sure our crowd would like it because they like it up and at 'em.
"They are very patient with the ball, they frustrate teams and teams lose their shape and discipline.
"They try to pull you out of position and play between the lines, so we had to stay compact and I think we did that 90 per cent of the time – but we had to work our socks off."
Pulis, who started with all nine players omitted from the trip to Valencia last week, was especially complimentary towards Upson and right midfielder Ryan Shotton.
"That's Ryan's best game for me," he stated. "The way they play with two out wide, the job he had to do was fantastic, and he put some great crosses in.
"I was very pleased with Matthew and I thought he worked very well with Ryan (Shawcross) at the back."
He explained his decision to drop Thomas Sorensen in favour of Asmir Begovic in goal by adding: "I just thought that Thomas, in the games against West Brom and Fulham, and to an extent against Sunderland, hadn't looked as sharp as he has done.
"Thomas will be the first one to hold his hands up and say he should have done better, but I have great confidence in both of them."
Pulis acknowledged any on-going criticism for fielding a weakened side in Valencia last Thursday, but insisted Stoke played better in Spain than when he included both wingers Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant in the first leg.
"If there's a criticism levelled at me it should be for the first team I picked against Valencia because we didn't play that night," he claimed.
"The team that went to Valencia the other night created better chances and gave them a better game.
"Whichever way you do it, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
"My chairman is really pleased with the team I picked for both games… and he's the one I answer to.
"We understand that supporters are going to be happy with some things and not others, but we have to get on with it. I have broad shoulders."
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