Stoke boss Tony Pulis seems like a down-to-earth guy who keeps his feet firmly on the ground.
Tony Pulis – feet firmly on the ground
And Tony is not getting too carried away with Stoke’s excellent and deserved 2-1 win last Saturday over West Ham, which takes them into the semi-finals of the FA Cup against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley.
Pulis is only too well aware that his side are just 3 points above the relegation zone, and they still need some points to get to safety.
The same is true for Newcastle, who are just two points better off then Stoke, but are still not safe yet.
Pulis has referred to the game tomorrow as a must win game for Stoke, which of course would take them above Newcastle in the league.
These league games against sides close together and in the bottom part of the table, will have a big effect on which sides end up being relegated this season.
There are just 5 points separating 8 teams from Newcastle on 36 points in 10th place, to Birmingham in 17th place (4th bottom) and on 31 points.
So there are at least 11 sides (and probably also Everton and Sunderland) who are not safe at the moment, and therefore every game between two clubs in those 11 (maybe even 13) take on added significance.
And that’s one way to look at the game at the Britannia Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
This is what Tony Pulis said today about the game against Newcastle United tomorrow::
“It is very, very important for the football club we stay focused on the league and we have a very, very tough game on Saturday against Newcastle. We have to win it.”
“They will be up for it and what we have to do is generate the same atmosphere we generated the other day against West Ham, both on the pitch and off the pitch.”
“The supporters have to stay focused on the league.” “We have had a three-year plan and we are not through it yet. At the end of the season I will talk about why it was so important to get through them.”
The game of course is a sell -out, and every away ticket has been sold on Tyneside, so we’ll see lots of Newcastle supporters at the Britannia Stadium tomorrow afternoon, to help roar on the lads.
We’d be happy enough with a draw tomorrow afternoon to be honest, but a defeat will likely bring some dark clouds hovering over Tyneside, following our disappointment at getting just one point from our previous two home games against Bolton and Everton.
But Newcastle will still be in a decent position in the league, and of course we still have to play relegation fighting Wolves, Birmingham and WBA at St. James’ Park during the run-in to the season.
So there’s 9 points right there – right?