Tony Pulis calls on Michael Kightly to deliver goals for Stoke
Thursday 09 August 2012
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has called on new signing Michael Kightly to bag his fair share of goals this season.
Kightly ended five and a half years with Wolves yesterday by joining Stoke for an undisclosed fee, swiftly agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.
The 26-year-old scored 24 goals during his time at Molineux, and an additional three in 12 appearances whilst on a three-month loan with Watford last term.
It is the kind of firepower from the wide areas Stoke missed last season as Jermaine Pennant failed to find the net, whilst Matthew Etherington scored only three in a Premier League low for the team overall of just 36.
Although Pennant has been linked with a move away from the club, and with rumours he has already rejected a switch to Wigan, Pulis sees Kightly as strengthening his winger options.
"There is nothing better than to have strong competition in all areas and Michael's arrival gives us that in the wide positions," said the boss.
"I've long been an admirer of Michael, not only in terms of him being a provider, but also the fact he gets his share of goals.
"Our two wingers, Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant, have been brilliant for this football club over the past few years.
"But they went off the boil in terms of goalscoring last season, so we wanted to address that.
"Competition for places will bring the best out of them again and that is what Michael's presence will give us in that area."
Following Wolves' relegation, Kightly has revealed it was his desire to stay in the top flight that helped fuel the move.
He said: "It's a great club, an established Premier League club, so I am delighted to be here.
"Any footballer wants to play at the highest level and I am grateful to Stoke for giving me the chance to stay in the Premier League.
"The club sold itself to me. What they have achieved over the past few years has been remarkable.
"Then there's the excellent facilities and the supporters. It's definitely a club that is moving in the right direction."
On a busy day for Pulis yesterday, there was further good news in the fact defender Robert Huth will only be out for a fortnight.
After being rushed into hospital on Monday with a mystery virus amid fears of meningitis, Huth has been diagnosed with the much milder viral form of the illness.
Confirming the news, the official club website added: "He is progressing well in his recovery.
"Although it is too early to predict the length of his absence, it is likely to be at least two weeks before he is available to return to action."
Pulis and chief executive Tony Scholes also successfully convinced an appeals hearing to grant United States international Geoff Cameron a work permit, so completing his move from Houston Dynamos.
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