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Stoke chief voices support for Pulis

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has urged supporters to be more realistic at the Britannia Stadium, in the wake of their growing frustration with manager Tony Pulis.

• Pulis accepts criticism
• Blog: Hammer blow for Stoke

The Potters chief admits results have to improve following a run of just one victory in nine games for the club, culminating with supporters voicing their discontent after Saturday's defeat against West Ham.

However, Coates insists there will be no panic in the club's boardroom and remains firmly committed to his manager.

"We are clearly having a bad run and not playing well, but I think these are fine margins. If your team is not doing well, your crowd gets restive. It's no different in Stoke than anywhere else," he said.

"Our current squad is the best we've had and to me that represents progress. He (Pulis) has been here seven years and I think fair-minded Stoke supporters would think they were seven good years.

"Our worst finish in the Premier League has been 14th. We would like to finish higher, but this is a highly-competitive game and we are playing in the toughest league in the world."

Coates has given Pulis heavy financial backing in recent seasons and understands fans want to see the side pushing for a top-ten finish. He has urged supporters, though, not to turn on the side and create more problems for the remainder of the season.

"The best help they can give the club is to get behind the team. They have in the past and, when push comes to shove, I am sure they will again," he said.

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