Stoke City chairman Peter Coates: I'm fully behind Tony Pulis
STOKE City chairman Peter Coates remains fully behind Tony Pulis – and has urged fans to keep faith with the club, both at games and by renewing their season tickets.
Sales have fallen below the levels of the same stage last year when the club went on to sell up to 21,000 season tickets.
They haven't been helped by Stoke's run of one win in 10 league games, form which prompted some fans to turn on Stoke manager Pulis after the defeat to West Ham in the club's last home match.
However, Coates's support for Pulis has not been shaken. He said: "Tony has done remarkably well for this football club, but every club in the Premier League has a lean spell at some point.
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"I understand we are having a bad time, and if you don't get results and don't play well then managers get criticised, but there has to be some balance.
"We have had a very good period at this club and you have to look at the whole rather than a bad patch.
"I didn't think we played badly at Newcastle at Sunday; we deserved something from that game."
Stoke return to the Britannia Stadium to face West Brom on Saturday, and Coates is hoping fans will show patience with their side.
He is also asking them to show their support by buying season tickets before next Wednesday's Early Bird deadline for the cheapest deals.
He said sales haven't reached last year's levels, adding: "I think we are a bit behind, but every year we are trying to improve.
"We have the best squad since promotion and we want our supporters to stay with us.
"We all want the club to progress, and to do that we need our supporters. They are vital on the day and I would also like to think they will stay as season ticket-holders.
"I am not saying don't moan and groan, and I am not criticising supporters for that. But we need our supporters."
Coates says a typically passionate atmosphere will give Pulis's side the best chance of beating West Brom and taking a huge step towards securing Premier League football for a sixth successive season.
He added: "The West Ham game was one our supporters felt we probably should win.
"They were disappointed, but it is very important they get behind the team for the rest of the season to make sure we are okay."