Pulis hails Jones influence at Stoke

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The Independent Football

Stoke boss Tony Pulis hailed "unplayable" striker Kenwyne Jones after seeing him inspire his side to a fightback victory at Newcastle.

The former Sunderland frontman returned to the north east to haunt the Magpies as they allowed three points to slip from their grasp.

Jones turned in an ineffectual first-half display, but was much improved after the break, hitting both the post and the crossbar before finally cancelling out Kevin Nolan's opener with a 67th-minute header, his fourth goal in as many games.

It was ultimately James Perch's own goal which handed the Potters victory at St James' Park, but Pulis was full of praise for his £8million summer signing.

He said: "The biggest thing with Kenwyne is consistency. If you look at his career, he has had runs of goals in games, and he is having one at the moment - and we hope that continues.

"The important thing with him is that he keeps going. We have got Ricardo Fuller, who is from that area as well, and they are so laid back it's frightening at times.

"But it's handling them in the right way and really looking after them and caring for them.

"He is unplayable at times, he is unplayable."

Perch's decisive 85th-minute intervention settled a classic game of two halves.

Stoke were awful before the break and deservedly trailed to Nolan's 43rd-minute penalty, awarded for Robert Huth's senseless challenge on Andy Carroll.

But they returned in very different mood and Jones, so laboured in the opening 45 minutes, proved a real handful.

He had already hit both the post and the bar when he headed home from Huth's knock-down, but the drama came inside the final five minutes.

Perch got to Matthew Etherington's corner ahead of Huth, but only succeeded in powering a header into his own net.

It was Newcastle's second successive home defeat and served to take the gloss off impressive away victories at Everton and Chelsea in the last week or so.

Manager Chris Hughton said: "We know we have got to pick up results, particularly as we have seen how this league is going at the moment.

"There have been a lot of surprise results and at the moment, everybody seems to be able to get an unexpected result.

"But amongst all that, what you have to be able to do is get enough points from your home games or it does put pressure on you away."

However, Stoke's victory came at some cost with substitute Fuller heading straight to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder after landing awkwardly following a challenge by Jose Enrique.

Pulis said: "Until it is X-rayed, we are not sure. We are waiting for a phone call now.

"He did it last year away somewhere. We thought it was dislocated then, but it wasn't, it just popped out and he got it popped back in.

"It was only 10 days, so we are hoping and praying it has just popped out again."