TONY PULIS heaped praise on his players for their effort and commitment after Stoke City extended their unbeaten run to six matches at Villa Park.
Pulis’ side claimed a hard-earned point from a second successive trip to the West Midlands as they battled out a goalless draw with a much-improved Aston Villa.
City remain in ninth place in the Barclays Premier League table after taking 14 points from a possible 18 over the last six matches and have now kept eight clean sheets this season after shutting out a Villa side in which Christian Benteke posed the main threat.
“Two local derbies away from home, four points and two clean sheets,” exclaimed Pulis. “That’s a great tribute to the effort and commitment of the players.
“Our supporters should be immensely proud of what they have achieved in those games because it is no mean feat to come away with two outstanding results.
“When you look at the way Villa have performed recently against some top teams here, then people shouldn’t under-estimate what we’ve achieved today.”
“They’re a young team with plenty of enthusiasm, who work very hard for their manager, so we knew we had to compete with that if we were to get a result.
He added: “I thought we defended fantastically. We looked very solid as a team and I don’t think Asmir was called upon to make a save of any note.
“We kept the ball well in the middle third of the pitch and the only downside was that we didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked.
“Having said that, I thought we looked at our most dangerous in the last quarter of the game when we brought on Crouchy and Cameron, and I felt that if there was one side going to win the game at that stage, then it was going to be us.”
Pulis expressed his disappointment at some of the refereeing decisions which eventually resulted in Ryan Shotton seeing red for two bookable offences.
“We’re disappointed with the challenge on Glenn, which is a poor one, and it’s extraordinary that the referee has given them a free kick,” he said.
“When you then see Ryan sent off for two bookable offences, which you can’t appeal against, it’s very hard to take. You’ve seen the incidents, so you decide for yourselves, but there were a lot worse challenges which went unpunished.”