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Page last updated at 19:00 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 20:00 UK

Stoke deserve credit, says Pulis

Stoke fans celebrate
Stoke fans at Hull celebrate their club's Premier League survival

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis insisted his players deserve great credit after guaranteeing their Premier League survival with a 2-1 win at Hull.

"It's been a long season, but rewarding in the end and I think the lads really deserved it today," he said.

"People talk about players of the year, managers of the year and everything else but the season goes on - wait until it's over and then judge people.

"We've managed to stay up, so now give my players the credit they deserve."

Many expected the Potters to struggle following their promotion from the Championship last year.

But they have ensured their survival with two matches to spare and can now look forward to another season among the elite.

We deserve some credit - Pulis

Pulis added: "I've got a group of lads that work very hard. We've had to battle right through from the first game to this game.

"I think we've got battle-hardened, picking the players up after defeats and keeping everything going.

"The players have been smashing and the football club has as well. The chairman's been first class, the supporters have really taken to the Premier League and I'm really pleased for everybody connected with the club.

"It's been new and fresh, and it's the first time I've managed in the Premier League. I've now been promoted out of every league and I've not been relegated, so I'm absolutely delighted to keep that sequence going."

Hull's defeat increased their own relegation fears and continued a dismal run of results.

The Tigers, who were also promoted last season, have won just once in 21 league games and sit just one place above the relegation zone.

606: DEBATE

Hull boss Phil Brown admitted: "The most difficult part of the job is trying to maintain self-belief.

"We have still got two games to go and all eyes will be on the game on Monday night between Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

"No doubt we want a draw from that game so it remains in our hands.

"I'm still confident, still believing and have asked the players to keep the faith."



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see also
Hull City 1-2 Stoke
09 May 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football as it happened
09 May 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
09 May 09 |  Football


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