Stoke City boss Tony Pulis: I'm not going anywhere, there is still work to be done
T ONY Pulis has firmly brushed away any suggestion he might have half-an-eye on a truly top job in English football.
His solid progress at Stoke over the past six years – and especially the last four in the Premier League – has not gone un-noticed in the highest circles.
And we all know it only takes one change – Sir Alex finally retiring from United for instance – to trigger a managerial merry-go-round.
But asked yesterday whether he had ambitions to go beyond Stoke, he replied: "I'm not sure that's a fair question."
Purchase this property and receive £250 towards legal fees !! New on the market with no vendor chain !
Terms: Subject to offer and terms and conditions, contact the office for further information.
Contact: 01782 940925
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He proceeded: "The most important thing for me is this football club and it has been for the past 10 years.
"I've still got a hunger and a desire to push this club on.
"I'm not sure there are many clubs I would want to go to, if and when my time at Stoke comes.
"I don't think I could be happier. I've got a great football club with great people running it. I understand how lucky I am."
And what of Sir Alex, today's dugout rival? Not so much the daddy of managers these days, more the grand daddy.
"I think he will be recognised as probably the greatest manager this country has seen," Pulis enthused.
"That's a tribute to him – and he's still going. Goodness knows when he's thinking of putting on his slippers and lighting his pipe."
And such admiration extends to United star Wayne Rooney after three goals in the past week saw him surge past the likes of Alan Shearer and Nat Lofthouse in the list of England's all-time leading scorers.
"Rooney is an outstanding player," Pulis said without hesitation.
"On his day he can be unplayable, but they've got other players who can do that too.
"In five minutes, the game can change. Against the top, top teams, you can be doing well, then have a lull and they have the players who can take you to bits.
"Every one of the top six or seven clubs have got someone in their group who can open you up."
But Pulis believes United, who have already lost at Everton and at home to Tottenham, have taken time to find their feet this season.
But he's seen enough of them in both the Premier League and the Champions League recently to convince him they are, once again, bona fide challengers to Manchester City's crown.
"They hadn't clicked into gear, but then I watched the second half against Tottenham," he recalled.
"I also watched the Cluj game and they murdered them. Then against Newcastle they were different class.
"They will be desperate to finish above the blue half of the city."
He's also convinced Fergie will not be resting players today to keep them fresh for Sporting Braga in the Champions League at Old Trafford next week.
"No, I don't think he will pick two teams. I think he will play his best players... and he usually does against Stoke.
"They are on a different planet, but if we work as hard as we did against Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea, then we've got a chance.
"Chelsea are the only team that's turned us over this year, and then with a late goal.
"We've got to match that performance at Chelsea and have the courage, when we have possession, to do something with it.
"We had good opportunities at Liverpool and Chelsea. If we had taken them, those games might have been different."
DANNY Higginbotham could be about to end his second spell at Stoke after being told he can make his loan move to Ipswich Town permanent.
Tony Pulis has spoken to Paul Jewell, his opposite number at the Championship club, after already stating he would not stand in the way of the veteran defender finding regular football.
"If both parties are happy and we can get a deal done, we will get the deal done," said Pulis.
"We will do everything in our power to help those who have been good for us, and Danny certainly has been good for us."
Higginbotham, Stoke's player of the year in 2006/07, made 128 appearance for the club over his two spells, scoring 14 goals