Pulis beams with pride

Stoke out to write a new chapter in the club's history

Last Updated: 04/08/11 10:32pm

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Tony Pulis heaped praise on his Stoke side after they overcame Hajduk Split to claim a place in the final qualifying round of the Europa League.

Stoke produced a disciplined performance in the Stadion Poljud where they took a one-goal advantage into the tie.

Defender Ryan Shotton's late strike sealed the victory to make it 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate.

This is the first time the Potters have played in a major European competition in 37 years and been victorious, having lost on their only other two forays in the Uefa Cup in the 70s.

Proud

"I'm very proud of the players and for the football club," Pulis said.

"The chairman (Peter Coates) has his family out here today. They will be absolutely delighted and I am very pleased for them.

"We were quietly confident. The important thing was to make sure that we came here with the lads full of confidence.

"We know Hajduk are a very famous and great club, and they have fantastic supporters - we knew the atmosphere would be brilliant.

"But we thought that if we played our game, and we played as well as we can, with the lads putting the effort and commitment in, then we'd have as good a chance as them of winning the game.

"This is the first time the club has played a European tie and actually qualified or gone through, so it's another new bridge we have crossed.

"We got into the Premier League a few years ago, then we got to Wembley (for the FA Cup final last season) and now we have crossed this bridge - they are three fantastic achievements in such a small space of time."

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