Potters v Bolton Wanderers- Preview

Last updated : 15 January 2011 By DSG


Stoke manager Tony Pulis has given an insight into how stiff competition for places in his team spilled over during training this week.

Pulis and his coaching staff had to abandon a session as the tackles flew in thick and fast at their start-of-the-art facility.

He ordered the players back into the changing room as he was afraid someone would get hurt ahead of the home Barclays Premier League match against Bolton

Pulis said: "The lads have worked really hard. If you had seen them train Tuesday you would not have thought they had played a game (they drew 1-1 with Cardiff in the FA Cup on Saturday). 

"It was one of them where we had to stop training. It was really competitive and we had to bring them in so no-one was injured. They were that fired up. I hope they are that fired up on Saturday.

"When they train, they train properly. They come in 40 minutes before we go out to do their core work and individual programmes that people have laid out for them. 

"It gives the players a better chance to prolong their careers. When you consider the pace of the game and the tempo it is played at, they know they have to look after themselves." 

Pulis could be tempted to give another run-out against Bolton to Marc Wilson, who arrived in the summer from Portsmouth. 

The Stoke boss was pleased with the shift the 23-year-old midfielder put in against Cardiff and said: "He will eventually be a very good player for this club. He has been outstanding in his last two games. 

"He is getting stronger as well, mentally and physically. He is technically a very good player. I can see him being a very important member of the team in years to come. 

Meanwhile, Owen Coyle believes the hardest work is still to come as he begins his second year as Bolton manager.

Coyle has overseen a huge transformation of the Trotters' fortunes since quitting Burnley to take charge at the Reebok Stadium last January. 

The former Wanderers striker inherited a team involved in a relegation struggle but 12 months later they are a healthy seventh in the Barclays Premier League.

The 44-year-old has also changed the image of a team which had acquired a reputation for physical and direct football under previous managers Sam Allardyce and Gary Megson. 

Coyle said: "We've done a lot of hard work and we're pleased with where we are but we recognise the hard work continues.

"We can't affect what we have done over the past year but we can look back and see there were a lot of things we enjoyed doing. 

"We have to continue in that vein and look to push the club forward. 

"There was a perception of how the club played their football and ultimately if somebody gives you that name sometimes it can stick. 

"It seemed to be hanging over the football club for a number of years.

"What we had to do was add our own style, have more than one dimension to our play, different facets.

"We are trying to do that but we are still not near where we want to be.

"Piece by piece we are looking more pleasing on the eye but we recognise as well that if we need to get it to our strikers early we do that.

"We try to mix and match our style of play and by doing that hopefully we cause the opposition problems.

"But it is very much a work in progress and I must stress all the hard work is in front of us."

Bolton are short on numbers and have gone into their last two Premier League games with just four of their seven possible substitutes slots filled. 

Tamir Cohen returned for last week's FA Cup tie against York after compassionate leave but Coyle is still hampered by injuries and Lee Chung-yong is on international duty.

Ivan Klasnic, Joey O'Brien, Sean Davis, Ricardo Gardner and Jlloyd Samuel are all out while Gretar Steinsson and Stuart Holden are doubtful.

Source: DSG

Source: DSG