Stoke City vs. Norwich City  1 - 0


Kemp: Stoke can´t relax yet

27 April 2013 21:07

Stoke City assistant boss David Kemp claims that there is still work to be done in order for his side to ensure their Premier League survival.

Victory over Norwich on Saturday saw Stoke reach the 40-point mark, but Kemp insists Tony Pulis' men still cannot take their top-flight status for granted.

He said: "I think you’re always pleased when you hit 40 [points], but we can’t relax. We’ve got three more games to go and we will be looking to win those three as well.

The result ensured back-to-back wins for the home side, and Kemp expressed his delight at the club overturning their recent bad run of form.

"We were on a bad run but that’s football, there’s ups and downs and you have to deal with the difficult p-periods as well as dealing with it when things are going well," he added

"So hopefully we’ve come through that, stuck two wins together and we can look forward to these last three games and add some more points to our total."

Kemp also paid tribute to midfielder Charlie Adam, who scored the only goal of the game.

"I think it’s the third goal he’s [Charlie Adam] has got and they’ve all been in 1-0 wins," he continued.

"He’s certainly scored some important goals for us and he took that one very well. I was pleased for him and pleased for everyone."


Hughton ´disappointed´ by Norwich loss to Stoke

27 April 2013 20:56

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton has lamented his side’s failure to cope with Stoke's physicality on Saturday afternoon.

A well-taken Charlie Adam goal early in the second half was enough to consign Hughton’s men to a 1-0 defeat at the Britannia Stadium.

But the Englishman felt his players could have done better in the second half.

He said: “I think we were up against a Stoke side at their most direct and most physical but that’s how they and that’s what you have to cope with and I thought we were able to cope with it in that first half period.

"But to concede that goal so early in the second half really hurt us because we felt having contained them for that period of time, we could work our way into the game.

“I was disappointed that when we had our moments to keep possession and to drive from midfield we didn’t do it. When we were able to get into good crossing positions around their box we didn’t make enough of it.”

The former Newcastle manager also insisted that his team are still not certain of Premier League safety.

“It’s in our own hands and we need to make the most of our next two home games," he added.


Premier League: Stoke 1 Norwich 0

27 April 2013 17:55

Stoke City took a significant step towards Premier League survival with a vital 1-0 win over Norwich City at the Britannia Stadium.

Charlie Adam’s cool second-half strike was enough to secure victory for Tony Pulis’ side, easing any lingering relegation concerns.

The hosts made just one change from the side that won at QPR last week, with Andy Wilkinson replacing the injured Marc Wilson.

Meanwhile, Chris Hughton made two alterations to his team, replacing injured centre-back Michael Turner with Steven Whittaker, while Alexander Tettey was preferred over Elliott Bennett.

It was the visitors who looked the more likely to break the deadlock in the opening exchanges, and they created the game’s first chance after just six minutes when Robert Snodgrass headed over the bar after rising to meet a teasing cross from Russell Martin.

Moments later, Bradley Johnson was unable to keep his shot down after a smart lay-off from Kei Kamara as Norwich pushed to open the scoring.

Stoke’s best chance of the half came 15 minutes later, when Cameron Jerome’s volley was blocked by Stephen N’Zonzi in the box, with referee Anthony Taylor waving away any suggestions of handball.

And Jerome was involved in more controversy on the half-hour mark, going into the referee’s book for a high boot on Norwich keeper Mark Bunn.

The contest became more and more physical in the lead up to the break, with a total of four players receiving cautions, and chances few and far between.

The opening moments of the second half saw the hosts show more urgency, and they were rewarded for their endeavour just minutes after the restart.

Adam burst into the box from midfield to control Peter Crouch’s flick-on, before slotting home a composed finish.

And the former Liverpool player could have been on the scoresheet again just moments later, seeing a low 20-yard strike deflected wide.

The hosts began to take control of the game and could have doubled their lead just before the hour mark, with Jerome inches away from connecting with a whipped Adam free-kick.

Norwich received another let-off several minutes later when Peter Crouch mistimed a half-volley in the six-yard box.

The visitors struggled to trouble the home defence, with Hughton throwing on Wes Hoolahan on 67 minutes in an attempt to unlock the Stoke back four.

But Kei Kamara's header, which flew just over the bar in stoppage time, summed up a difficult afternoon for the visitors.

The result takes Stoke up to 12th with 40 points while Norwich fall to 14th.


Pulis: We need one more win

26 April 2013 16:15

Manager Tony Pulis believes one more victory will secure Stoke City's place in the Premier League next season.

After a dreadful run of form that saw Stoke win just one of 14 league fixtures, the Brittania Stadium outfit were sucked into the relegation dogfight.

But goals from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters gave Stoke a crucial 2-0 win at QPR on Saturday, a result that has seen them move six points above the relegation zone.

Pulis is not getting complacent though, insisting his side need to win again to confirm their survival ahead of Saturday's home match against Norwich City.

"We've been in a 'must-win-game' situation for the last three or four matches now. We've four to go, and we need to get a result in one of those," Pulis said.

"The three points against QPR helped, but we still need to get to 40 points, which has been the target from the beginning of the season. I personally think we will be safe with 40, and our goal difference is good, so that's almost an extra point for us.

"The sooner we get to that then the more relaxed we will be, and with a lot more smiles on people's faces. The pressure comes off.

"The players got what they deserved last weekend. I keep saying it, but we've played better away from home but not got the results, which eats away at confidence.

"Winning at QPR has given them the confidence and belief again that we took into games, but never took out of them because of results, and results are everything.

"We needed those three points, but we still need three more, and until we get them no-one will be relaxing here.

"We just have to make sure we stay focused, get the three points we need, and if we can do that then we'll be a Premier League club for the sixth year running."

The Stoke manager also hailed the impact of Crouch in the win at Loftus Road and is hopeful he can finish the season strongly.

"After missing a couple of games recently he looked really fresh, and played really well for us on Saturday. For the last couple of weeks he has been back to his best," Pulis said.

Stoke are sweating on the fitness of winger Matthew Etherington (back), while defender Marc Wilson (hamstring), midfielder Charlie Adam and striker Cameron Jerome (both ankle) are also in doubt.


Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Norwich City

25 April 2013 11:48

Stoke City and Norwich City will both be riding when they go head-to-head in the Premier League on Saturday.

Both sides are fresh from victories in their mos recent outings, with Tony Pulis' men recording a much-needed 2-0 victory against Queens Park Rangers, while Chris Hughton's side ended a six-match winless run with a 2-1 triumph over Reading.

The three points came in handy for both teams and the winner at the Britannia Stadium will be assured of a spot in the Premier League in 2013-14.

The loser will still likely be a part of the top flight, but they will still have to endure a nervy finish to the season - with only six points separating Stoke from the bottom three, with Norwich one point better off.

Adding an extra element of intrigue is the fact 18th-placed Wigan have a game in hand.

But Pulis will simply be pleased his side were able to score multiple times and win against the all-but relegated QPR.

However, it makes for dim viewing that Stoke's only scalps since the turn of the year have been the bottom two clubs.

Norwich have similarly only had two league wins in 2013 - over Reading and Everton - and they will be looking to end any lingering fears over relegation.

The Carrow Road club's form makes for much more encouraging reading than that of their upcoming opponents - the Canaries have led heading into the final 20 minutes in each of their past three games, only to take a collective four points from them.

Swansea pulled a goal back to draw, while Arsenal ran all over them late at the Emirates before Hughton's men held on to beat the Reading - who are set to join QPR in dropping to the Championship next term.

In injury news, goalkeeper John Ruddy and full-back Steven Whittaker should be fit from knee injuries to rejoin the squad for Norwich. Andrew Surman (knee) and Michael Turner (groin) remain out.

Stoke's only injury concern is Matthew Etherington (back), who could be in the mix for selection.

Etherington was the match-winner last time these teams met at the same venue, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 triumph in March 2012.

Earlier this season, Norwich were victorious at home 1-0 - ending a four-match winless run against Stoke - courtesy of a Bradley Johnson goal.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25