Pulis targets 40 points barrier
Tony Pulis insists Stoke will need to demonstrate optimum levels of concentration to beat Arsenal.
Last Updated: 22/02/11 7:03pm
Tony Pulis insists Stoke will need to demonstrate optimum levels of concentration to beat Arsenal on Wednesday.
The Potters boss was a spectator at their recent game against Barcelona which he left totally in awe of their quality.
Arsenal go into the game against Stoke knowing that a win against them will narrow Manchester United's lead at the summit to just a point.
And after their shock draw against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup, Pulis is mindful a full strength Gunners attack could be unleashed on them.
"I went to their game with Barcelona, and it was a fantastic game," he said.
"For all of Barcelona's dominance, and they were very dominant at times, Arsenal still had very good chances. Robin van Persie could have scored a hat-trick.
"Arsenal will be delighted to be 2-1 ahead and heading out for the return with a great opportunity of going through. It means the second game will be a great one.
"But in watching that game I can say we're not on their level, I think everybody accepts that.
"So we just have to go there and do our best, and that's what we'll do.
"We have to be switched on. It's a game we know will be very, very difficult, even if we play at our best. If we don't, then we're in trouble."
While Arsenal are dreaming of toppling Barcelona in the Nou Camp, Pulis has his mind firmly fixed on Premier League survival.
The mythical 40-point barrier is the target for Pulis whose team currently occupy 10th place but are only six points clear of the relegation zone.
On the flip side of that, they are only seven points shy of their target and Pulis is determined for them to reach it sooner rather than later.
He added: "I've said to the players we've a great opportunity now at the back end of this season.
"Although we've some very tough games in the Premier League coming up, we have to get the 40 points, that's massively important for us.
"The basis of the Premier League is that you have to get to those 40 points as quick as you can because no-one is safe.
"Just look at the table and some of the teams below us who have been in this league for a long time and have more experience than us.
"It shows you have no God-given right to be anywhere and accept anything other than the fact you have to get those 40 points as quickly as you can."