TONY PULIS has highlighted the importance of the “togetherness” at Stoke City . . . as he aims to improve his side’s away form in the live televised match at Fulham on Saturday.
Pulis will be looking to take another step towards City’s initial 40-point target and therefore consolidate the Club’s position in the top half of the Barclays Premier League table at Craven Cottage at the end of a week in which supporters have begun planning for next season.
City’s manager has drawn comparison with their opponents in that both clubs rely heavily on their good home form rather than their away record for precious Premier League points.
Early Bird Season Tickets have gone on sale this week for the 2013-14 campaign and Pulis is hoping for another excellent response to retain the special atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium.
“We’ve got this special, special feeling at the Britannia, and we’ve had it again this season. There is no secret to why we do so well at home,” he commented ahead of the Fulham trip.
“The fact that the Chairman and the family have decided to freeze prices for a sixth year really shows their affection and loyalty to their own, and the crowd certainly do repay us. There is a great sense of togetherness throughout the Club and we want to retain that.
“Everybody knows that we are going to receive a lot more money next year if we stay in the Premier League. They have most probably looked at that and decided that the crowd deserve a little bit back because they have played such a big part in where we are today.”
Pulis believes that supporters should never under-estimate the achievement of staying in the Premier League as they aim to secure a sixth season at that level.
“Every year that we stay in the Premier League is a massive, massive result,” he stated. “You only have to look at the clubs who are down there at the moment fighting for their lives, and there are some big clubs. They’re just desperate to stay in the Premier League.
“So we must realise and recognise that you should never take anything for granted, not at this level and not in this League. Our priority is to stay in this League.”
City’s manager added: “I don’t think you will ever change the fact that, no matter what you give certain people, they will always want a little bit more. I accept that; that is part and parcel of the job, it is part and parcel of the Club being successful.
“Supporters pay their money, so they’ve got the right to criticise or moan, be unhappy or happy, be delighted or doing somersaults. It’s up to them.”
In looking ahead to the Fulham match, Pulis recognises that his side will have to overcome a side that have also made home advantage count.
“They’re very similar to us in that their home form is very, very good, whereas they tend to find getting results on their travels not so easy,” he said.
“I think we’ve played much better away from home this season than we have done in all our previous years in the Premier League, but we haven’t got the breaks or the results. We just need that bit of luck as much as anything else.”