Pulis calls for calm
Tony Pulis has warned his players to stop shooting themselves in the foot after the recent red cards.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 10/02/09 10:39am
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has warned his players to stop shooting themselves in the foot after the recent flurry of red cards.
The Potters have had midfielder Rory Delap and winger Matthew Etherington sent off in their last two Premier League games.
However, despite Delap receiving his marching orders against Manchester City for kicking out at Shaun Wright-Phillips, Pulis' men still managed to claim all three points thanks to a James Beattie header.
It was a different story at the Stadium of Light when Etherington was dismissed for lashing out at Sunderland defender Danny Collins with the scoreline still at 0-0.
The Black Cats soon gained the initiative and ran out 2-0 winners to leave Stoke one point off the drop zone.
"We are shooting ourselves in the foot and it's costing us important points," Pulis told The Sentinel.
"It's affecting us and we certainly cannot have it. We are also seeing it from players you wouldn't normally expect to get that kind of trouble.
"I've never seen Rory lose his temper like that. And since coming into the club, I've never seen anything to suggest that Matty would get involved in that kind of thing.
"It's so out of character for both of them."
Pulis believes that the sending-off definitely changed the game and even insisted that his side looked the more likely to snatch a winner.
"I didn't feel we were in any real danger at Sunderland until Matty got sent-off," he added.
"In fact at that stage, I thought we could win that game. That said I have to say the attitude of the ten men left behind was first class.
"Your heart goes out to them when all their effort came to nothing in the end."
The 51-year-old boss also revealed that he would be writing to referees' chief Keith Hackett after he claimed that Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Eboue was only booked for a similar challenge to Etherington's during the match with Tottenham.
"I'm not condoning what Matty did for one minute when he got sent-off," he declared.
"But when you see Eboue kicking out at a player and only getting a yellow card you have to start asking questions.
"It does seem to be one rule for some and another rule for others when you see incidents like that and compare it to ours."