Pulis believes tight-knit Stoke can brush off incidents of unrest to reach next level

The Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis, insists their efforts to become an established club in the Premier League will remain on course irrespective of negative headlines and bad publicity.

In the last three months the Potters manager has had to deal with two separate dressing-room leaks, the fallout from defender Ryan Shawcross's leg-breaking tackle on the Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and players openly showing their frustrations towards him on the pitch.

The latest incident saw reports emerge of a dressing-room bust-up between the Stoke captain, Abdoulaye Faye, and midfielder Glenn Whelan during and after Sunday's 7-0 defeat at Chelsea. That followed a leaked story in December which alleged Pulis and striker James Beattie had had a physical altercation at Arsenal during a row over the players' Christmas party.

But the Stoke manager said that, except for one or two rogue elements, everyone at the club was committed to doing all they could to ensure the Potters enjoyed top-flight longevity.

"They [incidents] can be damaging if you don't have such a solid base and foundation within the group and club," Pulis said. "If it was at another football club where things weren't as solid it could cause you serious trouble and damage. I've been involved before in situations where one or two players have let the group down but it doesn't affect us because this group is so solid.

"This club has been built on togetherness from the boardroom, through the management staff, to the players to the supporters and that is the way we will remain. That takes you on to the field and through hard times."

Pulis is two-thirds of the way through a three-year plan which he feels will allow Stoke's status to grow. The disruptive elements will be moved on in the summer and new players who match the club's ethos brought in. Pulis added: "This summer is as important as the last two; we will look to bring players in because we have to. If we get through next season, then I think you will really see the club blossom."

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