Stoke City-Norwich City Preview
LONDON (SE) - Tony Pulis will celebrate ten years since first taking charge of Stoke City when his team travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.
Pulis has overseen the most successful period in the club's history, and rightly received praise from the Stoke chairman this week.
"He has done a remarkable job to establish the club in what is widely recognised as the most competitive league in the world, where the top teams and top players are world-class," said chairman Peter Coates. "That is why I believe that he qualifies to be our best-ever manager.
"There was a time when I thought we would never get into the Premier League, but all that started to change when Tony came back. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve at the club and we have made incredible progress in a relatively short space of time."
Pulis this week moved to reassure the fans this week that he has no intention of moving within the Premier League.
"Down the line I do have an inkling to manage abroad," said Pulis. "Then there is the Welsh thing, if that ever came up and it was the right time. That's a possibility. I don't see myself managing another Premier League club. I know you should never say never, especially in football, but I can't see past Stoke.
"I still class myself as young in managerial terms and still learning. People go on about the younger managers coming into the game, but I look at the Fergusons, Redknapps and O'Neills. Then I think managers don't become managers until their mid-50s and beyond. So there is plenty still to be done."
Norwich were boosted by a League Cup win over Spurs in midweek, with goalkeeper Mark Bunn saving an injury time penalty to keep the score at 2-1, and after the game Bunn remarked that he is happy with his role at the club.
"When you come into a new club you've got to take your chance and I think I did that today," said Bunn. "I've just got to keep working hard and maybe push John Ruddy, who we all know is a fantastic 'keeper. We've got a good relationship me and John, he's a nice guy. All us goalkeepers get on really well, we've got a good squad here and I get on with everyone.
"We've got a great spirit and a great young team. The lads are buzzing in the dressing room and hopefully we can keep pushing and keep working hard."
Norwich have doubts over Russell Martin (back) and Harry Kane (foot). Marc Wilson is out for Stoke with a broken leg, but Glen Whelan may be back from a hamstring injury.
The Canaries have won just two of their last 14 games in the Premier League. Norwich picked up a point in this fixture last season, and have lost just three times in 22 home games against the Potters in the club's history. Stoke haven't won away from home in the top flight since January - a run of 14 games. Only three Stoke players have found the back of the net this season in the league (Peter Crouch, Michael Kightly and Jon Walters). The Potters have committed the most fouls in the Premier League this season, and are have had the least shots, shots on target, corner kicks and passes of all 20 clubs.