Pulis impressed by new Blues

TONY Pulis' spying mission at Ipswich last weekend served as a warning for the Stoke boss at just how serious Jim Magilton is about taking the Blues to the Premiership.

Derek Davis

TONY Pulis' spying mission at Ipswich last weekend served as a warning for the Stoke boss at just how serious Jim Magilton is about taking the Blues to the Premiership.

The table-topping Potters made nearly £4m worth of signing themselves during January but Pulis was intrigued to cast his eye over a former player of his own in David Norris and the relatively unknown Velice Sumulikoski

Pulis managed Norris at Plymouth and is not surprised he was sold for more than £2m, while Town paid around £600,000 for Sumulikoski.


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Pulis said: “Norris is an outstanding player at this level and an absolute diamond of a kid, on and off the pitch.

"He's got good ability and that special quality of being able to score goals from wide.

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"It was the first time I'd seen the foreign lad. He struck me as having good ability, being strong and being able to get from box-to-box.

"Jim Magilton has spent £3m on those two in the last month and that shows both how serious Ipswich are as a club, and how dangerous they are as a team. They are a fantastic footballing team and one of the best at passing the ball in our division.”

With just one defeat in their past 17 league games, scoring three goals or more nine times in the successful 16 matches, Stoke have surged to top of the table but Pulis insists complacency has no place in a club that have not achieved anything yet.

Pulis said: “I've been lucky enough to be involved with teams who've won promotion in the past and there's often a difference with these teams.

"The players have got a sniff of it and they have already shown they've got a great strength of character.

"We will get adversity between now and the end of the season, but hopefully we will climb those barriers.

"It (being top) is fantastic for everybody around the city. This place has moved on and it's reflected in the mood around the town. Everywhere you go, people are talking about the football club and that's lovely.

"But we know that the next 13 games are going to be really tough. A lot of what happens between now and the end of the season is between the ears, but up to now the players have shown they have got that mental strength.

"Maybe we just got that bit complacent before the Scunthorpe game last time out with one or two taking liberties. We got a right shock, but the players soon got back on track and deserve credit for that."

Stoke's five-match unbeaten run against Ipswich leaves them with 23 wins and 26 defeats from their 67 league meetings since the first in September 1954.

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