TONY PULIS has not given up hope of involving Brek Shea in Stoke City’s Premier League finale against Southampton on Sunday.
The Potters boss had earmarked the game at St. Mary’s Stadium as an opportunity to take a close look at the American international in first team action.
The 23 year old winger has been restricted to just two substitute appearances since moving to the Britannia Stadium from FC Dallas in January.
But Pulis has revealed that Shea’s hopes of figuring have been dented by a calf injury but he could still get the all-clear to make the trip to the south coast.
“Brek has got a little bit of a calf strain which is a bit of a nuisance for us,” he said. “We are desperate to get him involved against Southampton but he’s still got 24 hours before we travel down there so we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Pulis will be forced to make a change to his starting line-up with Charlie Adam ruled out through suspension following his sending-off against Tottenham in last Sunday’s 150th Anniversary Celebration game at the Britannia Stadium.
And he also has doubts surrounding another of his key midfielders with Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan still being troubled by the groin problem that has forced him to miss the last two games.
The Potters will have the backing of more than 3,000 supporters at St. Mary’s Stadium – their largest away following of the season so far – and Pulis has his sights set on a top ten finish.
Stoke will finish in the top half of the Premier League table if they beat Southampton and West Ham slip up against relegated Reading.
Pulis added: “I think the biggest thing is we try and put in a performance at Southampton. If we can finish in the top 10 it would be absolutely wonderful, a fantastic achievement for everyone connected with this football club.
“You have ups and downs; the Premier League is a relentless league and you have good times and bad times.
“The most important thing is to stay as level as you can. While everyone around you is getting carried away by this that and the other, the important thing is that you do stay level. You have to try and do that as best as you possibly can.”