Pulis hails Stoke attitude

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The Independent Football

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has praised the honesty of his players following their match against Manchester City on Tuesday.

The Football Association have charged City's Patrick Vieira with violent conduct following his kick on Potters midfielder Glenn Whelan during the 1-1 draw.

Ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with crisis club Portsmouth, Pulis said: "You don't see our players surrounding the referee or surrounding Vieira and causing loads of trouble. People's perception of us is wrong.

"We have a committed group of players, who give everything in every game. But we are an honest group. Sometimes we are labelled wrongly."

West Ham and Hull face a relegation six-pointer at Upton Park, with defender Matthew Upson calling on Hammers fans to cheer their team on in vociferous fashion.

"The supporters' backing is crucial," he told the club website, www.whufc.com. "It always helps when they are behind you.

"A lot depends on us, we have to show the right attitude and give them the right messages to get behind us. If we do, it will be a big atmosphere."

Hull's Steven Mouyokolo hopes the trip to London will allow him to continue his recent fine form in central defence.

"I was very determined to show people what I could do in my natural position so, when the manager gave me one opportunity, I took it and I'll give my best to stay in the starting XI," he said.

Wolves keeper Marcus Hahnemann will look to keep a third straight clean sheet when the Molineux side host Chelsea.

The club are still reeling from the £25,000 suspended fine they received yesterday following manager Mick McCarthy's decision to make 10 changes to his side against Manchester United in December.

But the American is just focusing on Saturday's clash with the Premier League leaders.

"Clean sheets are always your goal but we are playing better now," he told the club website, www.wolves.co.uk.

"When you're a promoted side, you're not used to teams controlling the ball and putting you under the constant pressure that you find yourself under and, eventually, it has to give. But I think we've adapted really well - everyone has learned and we're constantly having discussions."

Saturday's other games see relegation-threatened Sunderland travel to face Arsenal while in-form Everton host Manchester United in the early kick-off.

On Sunday, Liverpool travel to Manchester City, Aston Villa host Burnley and Tottenham visit Wigan as the race for fourth place hots up.

In other matches, Blackburn face a Lancashire derby again Bolton and Birmingham travel to Fulham.