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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 12, 2008

Pulis hails Stoke understudies after Cup win

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis praised the efforts of his young understudies as the Potteries club reached the Carling Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Rotherham on Tuesday night.

Pulis drafted in several of his squad players to see off the brave League Two club at the Britannia Stadium and was rewarded with victory thanks to goals by Glenn Whelan and Danny Pugh.

The Stoke manager said: "We have an identity at this club, everybody has a go, everybody runs and runs for the team. That is very important.

"I just hope we get lucky in the draw now, with a home game next. That will really help.

"I was delighted with the attitude of the lads who came into the side was first-class.

"You only have to look at the teams Rotherham have beaten to get here to realise that this was not going to be easy.

"Rotherham have been fantastic in cups, beating Leicester, Leeds, Wolves, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday already. So it was vital that the attitude of our players was just right.

"I was pleased with them all, but particularly Dave (Kitson). He just needs a goal and we are desperate for him to score for us.

"But he is a good player and brings a lot of quality to the side. I don't know yet whether I will start changing the side now we have got to the latter stages, it depends on suspensions and injuries.

"But I could not have asked more from the lads out there."

Pulis hailed the "fantastic times" facing his club as they march on in the Carling Cup as well as having their best top-flight season for more than a quarter of a century.

Pulis continued: "Whoever we get now in the last eight we will handle it. The big sides are still there, but we'll not be frightened of that.

"I just want another home draw, we will enjoy that. It is the first time for a very long time that this club has been in the finals of a major competition.

"We are 12th in the league and in the league cup quarter-finals, it is absolutely fantastic times for us."

For Rotherham boss Mark Robins there was plenty of positives from his side, who have battled successfully to overcome a 17-point deduction this term as well as producing a string of giant-killings.

He said: "It was always going to be a tough one, but I wanted us to give a good account of ourselves, and we certainly did more than that.

"If we had believed in ourselves a bit more we may have got more out of it. We played some good football and they were nervy about us at times.

"Everyone connected with the club should be proud of that the players have achieved. And we are still in two other cup competitions.

"It is important that we have good cup runs, it is something we spoke about right at the outset when we had our 17-point deduction.

"That could have killed our season, it has been very difficult to recover from that and we did it very quickly.

"It has been very tough, mentally to come back from that deficit. The cup ties have been a welcome relief."

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