Pulis four short of full strength after missing out in Bellamy hunt

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The Independent Online

Stoke manager Tony Pulis was disappointed he was unable to lure Craig Bellamy to the Britannia Stadium but hopes to "shake the place up" with several more signings before the end of the transfer window.

The Potters were one of a host of top-flight sides in England and Scotland that Bellamy turned down to join his hometown club, Championship side Cardiff, in a surprise move from Manchester City this week.

Pulis has expressed his frustration at missing out on the Welshman, but Stoke tied up a deal for forward Jon Walters in the last few days and the manager is aiming to have strengthened his squad further by the transfer deadline on 31 August.

"I'm hoping next week we'll get another four players in if we can," Pulis said. "We are really, really desperately keen to change one or two things around and shake the place up.

"That is very important. We are looking all over for different players and I hope next week one or two things will drop for us. We have worked very hard to put things in place and we were disappointed with the Bellamy situation – we worked hard to try and get Craig here, but it just didn't drop for us.

"We were very keen to take Craig but he has gone to Cardiff and I think [their manager] Dave [Jones] is very fortunate to get what is a top, top player. Cardiff is his hometown and he has been living away from his family for quite a while now. I think he has thought, 'How can I help them get into the Premier League?' and I'm sure they have a great chance now."

A potential deal for West Ham midfielder Radoslav Kovac has also fallen through but Pulis is delighted to have secured Walters after agreeing an initial £2.75m fee with Ipswich.

"We made our first inquiries about him last year and just couldn't get anything done, so we are very, very pleased," Pulis said. "He can play anywhere along the front of the team, up front or wide, and so he has that flexibility we need, especially when we have to name the 25 [man squad] and stay with those players."

Kenwyne Jones, who joined the Potters last week for a club record £8m, limped off with an ankle problem barely 10 minutes into their Premier League opener at Wolves on Saturday, prompting fears he might be facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

However, a series of scans and X-rays showed the striker had suffered only minor ligament damage and, having started running again already, Jones could be available to play against Tottenham at the Britannia Stadium this weekend.

"He is much better," Pulis said. "I went running with him yesterday and managed to stay up with him, so he is still not as fit as he should be! But we are very pleased that it is not a serious injury."

Asked if the Spurs game might be too early for Jones, Pulis said: "I'm not sure. He ran yesterday and we were pleased – if he gets a reaction today, that will push him back a bit. But if there is no reaction then, hopefully, he can do a little bit more today and tomorrow, and he's got an outside chance."

Despite last season's captain, Abdoulaye Faye, being in the starting line-up, fellow defender Ryan Shawcross was named captain against Wolves and Pulis believes the additional responsibilities that come with taking the armband may help improve the 22-year-old's game.

"I have got a lot of time and respect for Ryan," Pulis said. "During pre- season we made everybody captain, just to make the point that we need leaders within the team and that it is not just one person's responsibility.

"But it will do Ryan no harm to take on that responsibility at this age. You hope that it will improve him and make him even better than he already is. He is a great lad and one day, I'm absolutely convinced, he will play for England."

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