Stoke City: Tony Pulis slams Robert Huth for violent conduct at Fulham
STOKE manager Tony Pulis says Robert Huth deserves his three-match ban because there is no defending his assault on Fulham's Philippe Senderos.
Pulis decided not to appeal against the Football Association's charge of violent conduct after he saw footage of Huth raising a forearm into Senderos' face on Saturday.
Huth, the only Stoke player to feature in every minute of every league and cup game this season, will now miss Saturday's visit of West Ham and the subsequent fixtures away at Newcastle and at home to West Bromwich Albion.
"What he did was wrong and he will have to take his punishment," Pulis asserted.
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"I have great respect for Huthy and he is a player everyone loves here, but he hasn't only let himself down, he's let the group down.
"I can understand if people get booked or sent off for a mis-timed tackle, but what happened at Fulham is unacceptable and he understands that himself."
Huth's absence leaves Marc Wilson in pole position to replace him in central defence after only just returning to left-back following four months out with a broken leg.
That is an indication of how short Stoke are of options following the decision to let Matthew Upson join Brighton on loan until the end of the season.
Pulis, pictured, defended that decision by saying: "Matthew has been a great professional and deserved the chance to try to win a contract at Brighton before becoming a free agent in the summer.
"But it's also important to know that we were close to signing a centre-half and a left-back on deadline day last month, but both deals fell through."
Pulis had set his sights on central defenders Scott Dann at Blackburn and then Curtis Davies at Birmingham, while Bolton full back Marcos Alonso was also on his radar.
Meanwhile, midfielder Steven Nzonzi has been measured for a special face mask to ensure he can play against West Ham on Saturday after breaking his nose at Fulham last weekend.
Pulis explained: "He went down to London to see someone about wearing protection for his nose. They wear all sorts of things on their face these days, it's probably health and safety or something."
In a separate incident at Fulham, Nzonzi was lucky to escape with a yellow card after shoving his hand in the face of striker Bryan Ruiz.
And Pulis added: "I have spoken to Steven about it. He is getting a reputation for being a good footballer, so there will be players around trying to wind him up.
"I'm not saying he's a marked man, but we've noticed in the last month or so that there have been people winding him up.
"He's just got to learn to handle that kind of thing and take it as a compliment."