“The Right Combination”- Former Stoke City Boss Discusses Club’s Progress 

Stoke City are still fighting for survival in the Championship as they head into the final ten days of a thrilling season. 

The Potters find themselves four points clear of the drop after a vital win against fellow strugglers Plymouth Argyle at the Bet365 Stadium last Saturday. 

Since dropping out of the Premier League in 2018, five permanent managers have been in place but none have managed to guide the club to higher than 14th place. 

Having spent 10 seasons in the top flight, questions may need to be asked as to why the club have failed to even mount a playoff push since demotion

Who better to ask than the man who guided the club to promotion from the Championship and successfully kept them in the Premier League as well as qualifying for Europe: Tony Pulis

The Real EFL were given the opportunity to ask Pulis for his thoughts on why his former club have never mounted a promotion push. 

I‘ll tell you one thing, it’s not from a lack of support from the owners. If you have a look at the money that the owners have given to all the managers that have been at the football clubs it’s just extraordinary.”

Pulis continues his praise for the owners, the Coates family, and identifies where the issue lies. 

“The problem they’ve had has been the recruitment. The recruitment has been poor but that’s not the Coates’ faultthey’ve given the money to the Directors of Football or the managers or whoever has been selecting those players to come into the football clubthey’ve backed them to the hilt.”

Recalling his time at the club’s helm, the Welshman explained how supported he felt as the boss. 

That’s what you want from management. I was at that football club for a long time and that family were absolutely fantastic.”

“Everything you wanted they tried their damndest to give you. I think they’ve continued that and unfortunately, the recruitment has not been brilliant.”

The promotion-winning manager is confident the club is on the right path following recent appointments. 

“I think appointing Jon Walters (as Sporting Director) has been a really important appointment. Jon knows how the club was run before, he knows what’s needed, and he knows what the supporters will want.”

“I think he has a close relationship with John Coates who’s running it now and hopefully that combination, and it will take a bit of timeis the right combination for the football club.”

Tony Pulis was speaking to The Real EFL courtesy of OLBG.

Writer’s View

The Stoke faithful will be hoping Pulis is correct and that the Walters-Coates partnership, alongside manager Stephen Schumacher, will be the one to get the club challenging for promotion. 

With the Coates still providing the money for players, those working on recruitment have to get it right. It will take time but perhaps those identifying players will start to build a side capable of consistently better performances. 

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