Pulis welcomes expansion plans

  • Last Updated: November 17 2012, 14:08 GMT

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has welcomed the news the club is looking to boost the capacity of the Britannia Stadium.

Pulis: Would like the capacity increased

The Potters announced on Tuesday that they are to seek planning permission to fill in the south-east corner of their ground, currently occupied by a giant video screen, with seats.

It will take the capacity from 27,743 up to 30,000, no doubt making an already-intimidating venue for visiting sides even more so.

Pulis has always been keen to praise Stoke's famously vocal fans for their part in the club's success over the last few years, and he is understandably eager to see more of them roaring the team on from the stands.

"People have been talking about filling the corners in for years and the decision has been made by the family (of Stoke chairman Peter Coates)," said Pulis, under whom the Potters won promotion to the Barclays Premier League in 2008, have become an established top-flight side and also played in the Europa League via the 2011 FA Cup final.

"They will have done it for the right reasons and I think the more people that are in there, the better it is for us as the home side.

"The supporters help us so much at the Britannia Stadium. If we had not had them, I don't think we would be where we are now.

"The club want to fill in the corners of the stadium, they want to do it gradually and I think that is a great shout by the chairman.

"The important thing is that when we do it, we do it as quick as we can and get those extra few thousand people in the ground."

Stoke, who have 12 points from their 11 games to date, are unbeaten in the Premier League on their own turf this season and last lost a home top-flight fixture in February.

Their away form - which shows no league victory since January - is a different story, though, and something they are looking to improve with Monday's trip to West Ham.

Pulis feels his side have actually played well on the road this term and is somewhat baffled as to why results have not gone their way - but is convinced they soon will.

"The disappointing thing is that if you look at the performances this season away from home, we have probably been better than we have at home," Pulis said.

"For some reason we just can't turn it into victories. There was the late penalty for Reading (in a 1-1 draw) and the Wigan game (a 2-2 draw) where the goalkeeper (Ali Al Habsi) makes that outstanding save from the deflected shot (Charlie Adam's free-kick) with a few minutes to go.

"We played better at Manchester United this year (in a 4-2 defeat) than we have done previously, and we got a great point at Liverpool (drawing 0-0), deservedly so.

"We have played well - we just haven't turned it into wins.

"If you are asking me the reason why, I just can't work it out.

"We've certainly created lots of opportunities to win games of football, but we just haven't got over the line.

"But it will happen - I am absolutely convinced it will turn.

"As long as the players keep believing and working as hard as they have been, then we will be fine."

Meanwhile, Pulis has expressed his desire to hang on to Potters forwards Cameron Jerome and Kenwyne Jones, both of whom have been linked with loan moves to the npower Championship.

"We've had loads of clubs come in for Cammy and Kenwyne, but we want to keep them," said Pulis, quoted in The Sentinel.

"There's only really Mama (Sidibe) we might let go because he's not in our 25-man squad anyway."


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