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Pulis defends direct Stoke style

10 April 2013 09:29

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis says he would sign Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo if he was provided with an open chequebook.

Stoke are embroiled in a relegation battle at the foot of the English Premier League and sit just three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan, who have a game in hand on their rivals, with six matches remaining in the 2012/13 campaign.

Pulis has been criticised for sticking doggedly to a direct style of play, which has left the team in danger of dropping out of the top flight.

The Welshman has defended his tactical decisions, insisting flair players such as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo would fit in at Stoke, but are far beyond the club's reach.

"If I had an open chequebook and someone said you can have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, people of that ilk, fine - they would suit my style brilliantly. But we're Stoke City and we work within a budget we can afford," Pulis said.

"A lot people have an opinion about my style and, yes, I do like to move the ball quickly. My preference is to play with width and have people down the sides with pace.

"I want us to get the ball out to players who can excite the crowd. I want to encourage wingers to run down the pitch and get crosses in and I like to see centre-forwards in the box putting those chances away.

"But it's about who you can afford to bring in. You don't just wake up one morning and say 'We're changing our entire style of playing today'.

"It takes time for a club to evolve - three, four, maybe even five years in some cases. You can't just sign two players and say we're a different side now. It's like turning the QE2 - it has to be done gradually."

Stoke's next match is at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

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