Pulis hails 'unplayable' Crouch after latest double

Stoke manager delighted with summer signing as he scores 100th and 101st goals of league career

The Stoke manager Tony Pulis has praised Peter Crouch for his impact on and off the pitch after the striker scored both goals in Monday's 2-1 victory at Blackburn.

The 30-year-old's summer move from Tottenham was a sign of how far the Potters have come since their promotion to the Premier League in 2008 and he has repaid them with eight goals, on Monday registering his 100th league strike.

Crouch was one of a trio of players to join Stoke from Spurs in the summer along with Jonathan Woodgate and Wilson Palacios, and Pulis could not be happier with how they have settled in. The Welshman said: "Crouch has been fantastic. I thought him and Woodgate were very good [on Monday] and they've got great quality. It's not just what they do on the pitch, it's what they're like off the field as well. They've been absolutely fantastic.

"They've come to the football club as top players who have played for top clubs and their attitude towards the rest of the group has been fantastic. I'm so pleased Peter's not only got his 100th goal but his 101st as well."

Pulis declined to speculate on whether Crouch could make the England squad for this summer's European Championship but he certainly does not feel the striker's powers are waning."He's unplayable at times. If you stick the right quality in to him, he'll score goals. And he's as fit as a flea," added Pulis after Crouch battled through the Christmas programme despite illness.

"He's played the full game against Wigan, come here and played the full game and is defending balls in our box, up there winning balls in their box and absolutely brilliant. I think we might have caught him at the right time. He's the type of player who always wants to do well. He always seems very enthusiastic about being a footballer and that's a great commodity."

The result lifted Stoke to within one point of seventh-placed Newcastle as they made it 17 points from the last eight league games but, for Blackburn, it was another opportunity missed to climb out of the bottom three.

Manager Steve Kean was unhappy with referee Lee Mason's decision to disallow a Christopher Samba header early on, particularly given the treatment dished out to some of his players. He said: "There's certainly lots of times at set-play situations where there's contact. We feel as though a number of times we get penalties and decisions against Chris Samba because he's such a dominating figure.

"It's for the ref when there was so much going on in the box but the disallowed goal was a tough one, because I think it was a perfectly good goal."

It was a disappointing result for Rovers after their shock win over Manchester United last weekend and Kean will now turn his attention to trying to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.

The Scot again denied he is being hampered by financial problems at the club and took heart from a slight improvement in his injury situation, with Gaël Givet making his first appearance after a minor heart operation.

"I've been told nothing about selling [players]," he added. "We're only going to try to add. I said at Old Trafford we would like to try to keep the squad intact and that's going to be the basis of how we're hopefully going to approach this window.

"What was encouraging was to get Givet back so quickly after his heart procedure. We rotated Ruben Rochina with David Dunn, we got David Goodwillie on, so we're trying to rotate round the lads that we've got and I really felt we were unlucky."

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam