Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has talked today about just how good the Stoke City side has become under their manager Tony Pulis.
Tony Pulis – great manager for Stoke City
Chris talked about Stoke City today:
“There is more to Stoke than a physical presence. It is perhaps a little bit unfair on them. Some things are fact, they are very good at set-plays and of course Rory Delap’s throws. But they also have some good footballers.”
“You can’t become an established team in the Premier League without them. They are a big side and they play a fairly direct game with the players they have, but there is quality there. If you look at Kenwyne Jones, he is capable of getting on the end of set-plays, but he is also good on the ground.”
“I don’t think they will target Tim particularly, they will target any team with what they are good at and that is set-plays.” “There aren’t many sides, if any, who have more potential match winners from set plays. I don’t see anybody else who has someone like Rory Delap with his throws.”
Stoke City are a big and powerful side, and good in the air, there’s no doubt about that, and that’s why we think both Andy Carroll and Mike Williamson, two tall lads who are good in the air, will both start the game.
Andy will be important in defense tomorrow, if just to combat the Stoke set pieces, especially at corners.
But it would also be wrong to play Stoke up too much.
Yes Rory Delap is a decent player and a good taker of throw ins – but he’s hardly a Lionel Messi, let’s face it. So Stoke are a very honest side, very physical, and very good at set plays – very much like what Bolton were, when Sam Allardyce was still at the Trotters.
But Newcastle now have some class players in their side, and that class tomorrow should be enough to take all 3 points at home, against a hard working side, and if we cannot do that, we’ll be very disappointed.
We must get the majority of our league points at St. James’ Park this season, and the game against Stoke has to be looked on as a probable and likely win for Newcastle.
But of course we said exactly the same thing about our last game at home, against Blackpool, and we all know what happened then.