Stoke City: We're no bully boys, says Tony Pulis after Fulham win
TONY Pulis vehemently denied any suggestion Stoke had bullied Fulham to win Saturday's clash at the Britannia Stadium.
Fulham boss Martin Jol likened Stoke to a rugby team in size and said they try to bully teams.
• GALLERY: Match Action: Stoke City 1 Fulham 0
But he insisted he had no problem with that – and even admired the fact they had a style of their own.
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Pulis, pictured, said anyone describing his players as bullies was insulting them and undermining their efforts on Saturday.
"I don't think they were bullied out of it," he argued. "If you look at (Dimitar) Berbatov and others, they can look after themselves.
"We are strong, resilient, honest and work hard. We are not dirty.
"We were competitive, committed and the players stuck to a game plan.
"We wanted to get at Fulham because they are a good football team. Closing down and working is part of the game.
"I don't give a damn what other people think. I think this year, and I really mean this, we have played better than at any time in the Premier League."
Jol appeared to have seen a different team, however, but never once looked down his nose at Stoke.
"You get the long balls and then they can eat you up," said the Dutchman.
"Even Charlie Adam looked bigger than last year when I saw him. I'm not joking, it's like a rugby team.
"But they play within the rules and I admire teams who have got a style, it's just not my style.
"They try to bully teams, but that's a good quality. You have to stand up to it. A 1-0 defeat is not 5-0, it's not embarrassing.
"If you want a result here, then you have to eliminate the likes of Peter Crouch.
"They throw everything into battle, I like that, but sometimes you hope for a bit more protection from the referee."
He also thought it was a bit rich that Stoke, given their robust style, appeared to cry foul too often for Jol's liking.
Meanwhile, Pulis pointed to Fulham's tactics as an example of how teams are arriving more compact at the Britannia this season.
"They have dropped Berbatov back and almost played five in midfield," he contested. "Every team we have played at the Britannia have done that to try and contain us.
"But every time Berbatov got the ball I was frightened he would do something because he's a top player."