Stoke offer promotion blueprint says Laws

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The Independent Online

Burnley manager Brian Laws believes Stoke are a "perfect model" for newly-promoted clubs.

The 48-year-old has nothing but admiration for the way rival boss Tony Pulis goes about his business.

Burnley will move out of the relegation zone tonight should they achieve a victory against Pulis' side at Turf Moor, although Laws is expecting a fierce challenge.

"Tony Pulis is a great guy. I have known him for a long time. One of the things that has not changed is the way he has played the game in every division," he said.

"They are not a long-ball team as some are suggesting because they do play good football as well.

"Stoke are a perfect model for teams coming up and something we have to look at ourselves. They have done it in the right way, not overspent.

"As a team they work hard, are organised and play to their strengths. If they get in front they are very hard to break down. They are a team of workers, not stars."

Burnley have managed only one win in eight league games since Laws replaced Owen Coyle in January and are tipped to make a swift return to the second tier.

But Laws is quietly confident they can turn things around with a home game against fellow strugglers Wolves to follow on Saturday.

He said: "We are all enjoying it. Staying calm under these circumstances is most important for our players.

"We are an easy target. I want the players to go and prove a lot of people wrong.

"The last thing I want to see is them panicking. We have got to relax. We have earned the right to be here."

Burnley suffered only their third defeat at home in the top flight when they lost to Portsmouth last time out.

Veteran striker Robbie Blake is anxious to make amends for that stumble and said: "We were a bit disappointed at how we played and the goals we conceded.

"They probably deserved to win. We have got to make sure it doesn't happen against Stoke.

"If you had said with 10 games to go we were a point away from safety everyone would have taken that.

"With six of the 10 games remaining at home it gives us a big chance of staying in this division."

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