Grieving Pulis lauded by Stoke

Stoke assistant manager Dave Kemp hailed the club's "main man" Tony Pulis after another show of commitment for - and by - the Potters.

His players came from behind at the Britannia Stadium to beat Aston Villa 2-1 with an injury-time winner to secure their first win of the season.

Pulis, however, faced an even tougher task as he travelled to the game after the death of his mother in Newport earlier in the day, taking his place on the touchline for the second half.

Whether his presence had any more of an inspirational effect than usual is difficult to quantify but Kemp is in no doubt how important the 52-year-old is to them.

"The manager of the football club is the main man and if he is not there then there is an impact," he said.

"If Sir Alex Ferguson didn't turn up one day Manchester United aren't going to be the same.

"He obviously had a very sad day but typically for him he wanted to get straight into it, put his overalls on and get on with his work.

"That is why he has been a great manager for this football club. He is desperate, with all else he has got going on, to have an impact.

"His appearance gave the players and the fans a boost and I think you saw that."

Robert Huth deflected home Matt Etherington's shot in the third minute of injury time to snatch the win after Stewart Downing's 35th-minute diving header had put Villa ahead.

Kenwyne Jones, the £8million club-record summer signing, capped an impressive home debut with an 80th-minute equaliser.

"We've had some disappointing results but we had some disappointments in games where we haven't played that badly but haven't got the breaks," said Kemp.

"I thought we made our own fortune yesterday. We started well, conceded a poor goal for us and let it affect us up until half-time.

"But we showed great character coming out for the second half and kept going, made our own luck and once we scored I felt we could get the second and we did."

Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin Macdonald still expects to have a significant role in Saturday's match at home to Bolton as new manager Gerard Houllier - who missed last night's defeat because of prior commitments to the French Football Federation - is not likely to be ready.

"The latest I heard was that I would be making the training plans and picking the team for Saturday and Mr Houllier would be at the game," he said.

"I met him last Friday; he is a very intelligent man about football and we had conversations about that.

"I think he will do a very good job."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent