Stoke City v West Brom: Tony Pulis says losing hurts
TONY Pulis confesses he's murder to be around for two days after a Stoke City defeat.
So his poor wife must be spending a lot of time in the potting shed at the bottom of the garden these days after three successive defeats heading into tomorrow's clash against West Brom.
But Pulis says his family and his upbringing stop him getting too depressed after a loss.
"There are a lot of things in life that are 10 times worse than a bad game of football," he We are says, "but if we do lose, for 48 hours after I'm a nightmare. It does hurt, but you have to pick yourself up because the players need you."
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Pulis says he has no choice but to take any criticism on the chin – especially in the modern age of facebooking, tweeting and messaging – as many fans express their anger at results and performances.
"You know you're going to get it in the ear from a few angles," he acknowledges, "because there's a massive social network out there now.
"It's part and parcel of this world and a big part of professional sport that you have to deal with now.
"I understand the disappointment of a section of supporters, but I also understand there is a section out there who understands where we have come from.
"You swim with the tide when things are going well, and when it's not going so well and the tide turns, you have to swim against it. The important thing is to keep swimming."
He is but one manager, Pulis says, currently feeling the heat as fans everywhere quickly voice their dissatisfaction.
"Up and down the country," he continued, "you're either going to be flavour of the month or not because it's a results business.
"I understand that. The best thing we can do is what we did last Sunday and put in a performance like that... but win a few games as well."
Just one victory in 10 league outings since that memorable triumph over Liverpool on Boxing Day has certainly left many looking over their shoulder.
The gap between Stoke and the relegation zone that night was 13 points after just 19 games, but today it is nine after 29... and closing inch by inch.
"We are 11th at the moment," Pulis added, "and so ask me at the end of the season and I will say what the season has been all about.
"To ask me during a bad run of results, you can be a bit negative about it."
He swiftly defended his team's much-maligned style, too, after possibly taking the view that it was outsiders moaning during the good times, but now many of his own fans during the not so good.
"When we went 10 games unbeaten," he argued, "we played exactly the same as we are now and people were jumping about.
"I haven't changed anything from the run of 10 undefeated to now. Everything in training is the same.
"We've been on a bad run but, if we can get back to what we were doing then we can end up having a great end of the season. That's the way you've got to think."
TONY Pulis nearly fell off his chair when one brave hack at his weekly press conference asked him how he thought the Wales v England rugby international would finish tomorrow evening.
"You are joking, aren't you?" was his retort. "I don't know why England are turning up.
"Why do I think that? Because I'm Welsh! But seriously, I just think home advantage will count."
There may be no prouder Welshman around, but it's fair to assume the home win that matters most to him tomorrow will be some 150 miles north east of the Millennium Stadium.