Stoke manager Tony Pulis promises maximum effort against relegation threatened Bolton

 

Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash between Stoke and Bolton may only be make or break for one team, but Potters boss Tony Pulis knows his side will be doing their utmost to finish the season on a winning note.

Bolton go into the game two points behind QPR and knowing they have to win to stand any chance of preserving their top-flight status.

After Wigan stayed up with victory at Stoke on the final day of last season, fate has again dictated that Pulis' side are heavily involved in deciding who drops down to the Championship.

Last weekend's late defeat for Stoke at QPR coupled with Bolton's equally late concession of an equaliser against West Brom has left Owen Coyle's side staring into the abyss.

Pulis said: "We were disappointed last week. The result certainly didn't reflect the performance but that happens. We want to finish on a high if we possibly can and get three points.

"We really had a go at QPR last week. We didn't turn up and just sit around, we worked very hard. The problem we had was that when we had our chances we didn't take them.

"Owen has his responsibilities, he has his own football club to look after and he has to manage the week the way he has to. I have to manage the week for this football club. There'll be disappointed where they are because I think they have got some very good players."

Stoke will also have extra motivation for their 56th game of a lengthy season when they look back to the meeting between the sides at the Reebok Stadium in November.

The Potters had just returned from a Europa League match against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel and were thumped 5-0, their heaviest defeat of the season.

Pulis said: "QPR have done the double over us, and if Bolton beat us on Sunday then they've done the double over us. They're not stats that you want but they're there for everybody to see, so we've got to make sure we stop that one as well.

"They caught us on the back of a European game like Sunderland caught us (in a 4-0 defeat). We conceded nine goals on Sundays where we had to travel after coming back from Europe, and they were early season when we didn't have the experience to cope with what we were doing. And we certainly had our pants pulled down and our backsides slapped."

But the tiring season does look to have rather caught up with Stoke, whose only win in their last 11 games came against bottom side Wolves, although it is more than three months since they were beaten in the league at the Britannia Stadium.

"If you look at it that's a disappointing stat, but then you look at the teams we have played, and we played very well at home against Manchester City and Arsenal," said Pulis.

"We've had that run, and that's what happens in the Premier League. It's so tight. It's such a difficult league that you can go on runs like that. You can't fault the players' effort."

Another incentive for Stoke is the knowledge that a win on Sunday would equal their best Premier League points tally of 47 and potentially lift them as high as 11th in the table.

Pulis added: "That would be great if we could do that after the games we've had and what we've tried to achieve in Europe and the cup competitions. We've attacked everything that we've entered with the right spirit and with the right commitment."

Stoke have a doubt over full-back Marc Wilson, who has been struggling with a back problem, but defender Andy Wilkinson (groin) and winger Jermaine Pennant (hamstring) are expected to be fit.

PA

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?