Tony Pulis: Too many referees have preconceptions about Stoke City's style
STOKE boss Tony Pulis has delivered a few home truths to referees' chief Mike Riley in his on-going battle to win justice for his players.
Pulis says last week's 0-0 draw at Aston Villa provided further proof that referees were treating Stoke players differently to their opposition.
He is adamant that Ciaran Clark's unpunished challenge on Glenn Whelan would have prompted a red card had it been committed by a Stoke player.
Pulis told Riley, chairman of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, that too many referees are going into Stoke games with preconceptions about their allegedly aggressive style.
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"I have spoken to Mike Riley this week," Pulis revealed, "and given him a piece of my mind on the subject.
"I find the whole situation disappointing week after week.
"Look at the incidents where our players are being booked or sent off, then compare them with similar incidents involving others that are going unpunished.
"There was the Clark one on Glenn at Villa, but look at the second yellow Ryan Shotton received when he was trying to avoid Fabien Delph.
"It was like the Carlos Tevez one on Rafael in the Manchester derby, except Tevez's may have been intentional. But he doesn't get booked.
"All we have ever asked is to be treated the same as everyone else, but there are preconceptions about us that are unfair."
Pulis believes his grievance explains why Stoke are bottom of the Premier League fair play table with 32 yellows and three reds from 16 fixtures.
Only West Ham have more bookings (33), while Norwich top the table after only 13 yellows.
Meanwhile, Pulis has called on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to help spearhead the fight to rid the British game of diving cheats.
Pulis, pictured, has repeated his call for proven divers to be suspended after seeing Arsenal's Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla win a controversial penalty against West Brom last weekend.
That follows similar incidents against Stoke involving Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea pair Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic.
But Pulis says only high-profile footballing figures like Wenger can bring about a change.
"It won't come from Tony Pulis or Steve Clarke," he argued. "It will be interesting to see what Arsene Wenger and others will make of it because they are the ones who have power in football.
"You have to ban these players for three games and then they will soon stop diving."
And he took a swipe at those foreign players accused of spreading the practice.
"They should be embarrassed," he added. "This is England and our culture is not their culture."
Meanwhile, Pulis lost out to West Brom's Steve Clarke for the Premier League manager of the month award for November.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Chris Hughton were also nominated.
MICHAEL Owen played 70 minutes of Stoke's 1-0 defeat to Preston in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Britannia Stadium yesterday.