Pulis in Euro-education trip
Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has used the recent break in Premier League fixtures to add to his knowledge of the game on the continent.
The Welsh-born manager, who led the Potters back into major European competition last season for the first time since the 1970s, has been on his travels again, on a look-and-learn exercise.
Pulis, who has recently added another American import to his squad in Brek Shea, took in four countries in two days during a trip across central Europe.
He has declined to reveal his exact location but said: "This was an excellent chance for me to see how clubs are run; not just the first team but right down to the juniors. You can never learn too much.
"Hopefully it has been well worth the effort of getting around Europe and picking up different things."
Pulis studied Italian coaching methods when his playing career was interrupted by injury and has made previous trips to Europe and America over the years to see how other coaches work.
He was keen on making the latest visit to check out the different philosophies and facilities at several European clubs.
"I've often said we live in a bubble in football," he said. "Sometimes you need to break out of that when you can to go and see how others are doing things. I'm not saying I'm going to come back with totally different methods but you learn things."
The Potters boss was due back on a more familiar training ground with his players on Monday after they were given a break following their elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Manchester City.
Stoke return to Premier League action at Fulham on Saturday and hope to have full-back Marc Wilson challenging for a first-team recall.
The former Manchester United and Portsmouth player has not figured at senior level since breaking his leg in the home draw against Sunderland in the autumn. However, he is due to step up his comeback by playing in a third behind-closed-doors friendly early this week.