Pulis: Tough to fill in for Fuller
Stoke manager Tony Pulis has admitted that Ricardo Fuller's impressive form against West Brom in recent seasons will be sorely missed.
By Rob Carragher
Last Updated: 21/11/08 3:30pm
Stoke manager Tony Pulis has admitted that Ricardo Fuller's impressive form against West Brom in recent seasons will be sorely missed when the sides clash on Saturday.
Fuller scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season, but is suspended for the game after picking up five bookings so far in the campaign.
"Ric has been a thorn in West Brom's side and of course we wish he was playing against them on Saturday," said Pulis of his leading goalscorer.
"He's a special player who can light the place up and make a difference.
"Our supporters love him because all of a sudden he can create a chance or score himself. He's scored five in the Premier League already and we hope there are many more to come."
Regardless of the ban, Fuller may well have been a doubt for the game as he could have only returned from international duty less than 24 hours before kick-off.
But with Fuller's Jamaica now eliminated from the World Cup, jetlag will hopefully be one less worry for Pulis during the remainder of Stoke's potentially relegation threatened campaign.
"He has never started a game for us on returning from international duty and hopefully Stoke City will benefit from him not going away so often," added Pulis.
"He is usually shattered after flying halfway around the world and on occasions it has taken him a couple of weeks or more to fully recover."
Good for the game
Stoke head into to the clash leading bottom club West Brom by just three points, but despite the two sides remaining favourites for the drop, Pulis insists that the prospect of both sides lining up against each other in the Premier League next season would not be out of the question.
"No-one would be more pleased than me if all of us stayed up and I think it would be good for the game," said Pulis.
"There is a view that the teams who come up are easy meat, but that's not happened so far and long may it continue."