TONY PULIS hailed the backing of the Club's supporters after Stoke City moved a point closer to Barclays Premier League safety with a goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion in the local derby at the Britannia Stadium.
Pulis singled out the fans for special praise following a stalemate which lifted his side back to tenth place in the Premier League table.
Although there were few clearcut opportunities for either side, substitute Kenwyne Jones went close to snatch a win in injury-time.
"The supporters were absolutely magnificent today," exclaimed City's manager. "They were right behind us from first whistle to last.
"They were positive throughout a very tight, tense game which is so important. They stayed with us and we so nearly got our reward.
"I know there have been moans and groans recently, but we can't afford to lose our supporters. They are such a vital part of this Club.
"It's very encouraging for the players to have those on the terraces giving them that backing. The majority of the supporters understand that you have ups and downs in life, and football reflects life. You have good times, you have bad times.
"You need most help when things aren't going well. The fans were brilliant today and they deserve a real pat on the back for their contribution."
Pulis believes that a couple of incidents in the game showed once again that his side need a break in order to get back to winning ways.
"There was a shot from Jon Walters in the first half that took a deflection and flew the wrong side of the post with their 'keeper beaten," he stated. "When things are going well for you, those kind of chances finish up in the back of the net.
"Then, there was the best chance of the game which fell to Kenwyne at the end. If he puts it either side of Foster, then it's the winning goal.
"But the good thing is we are off 33 points now which has been a millstone round our neck and hopefully we can push on from here."
Tough game better of the chances - even at the end either side of Ben Foster
I thought the crowd were magnificent
They were positive from the word go right to the end.