Pulis has Coates' backing

by Michelle Fortune , 05 March 2013

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has moved to defend manager Tony Pulis in the wake of some criticism of the club's recent run of poor results.

The Potters have won only one of their last nine Premier League games – they defeated Reading last month - and some fans have taken their anger out on the manager.

Coates understands the fans frustration but he insists the club have made progress under Pulis and are just going through a bad patch.

"We are clearly having a bad run and not playing well but I think these are fine margins," Coates is quoted as saying in the Stoke Sentinel.

"We did enough in the second half at Fulham to get something out of the game and I didn't think we deserved to lose against West Ham.

"If your team is not doing well, your crowd gets restive. It's no different in Stoke than anywhere else.

"Our current squad is the best we've had and to me that represents progress.

"He (Pulis) has been here seven years and I think fair-minded Stoke supporters would think they were seven good years."

Stoke are currently 11th in the table with 33 points, which Coates is happy with given the strength of the Premier League.

"Our worst finish in the Premier League has been 14th. We would like to finish higher, but this is a highly-competitive game and we are playing in the toughest league in the world," Coates added.

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