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Page last updated at 22:51 GMT, Monday, 13 September 2010 23:51 UK

Tony Pulis 'inspired Stoke to beat Aston Villa'

Players performed for Pulis - Kemp

Tony Pulis' intervention at half-time was key to Stoke's comeback in their 2-1 win over Aston Villa, according to assistant manager Dave Kemp.

The Potters boss missed the first half after travelling to Wales following the death of his mother earlier in the day.

"He was in the dressing room for the half-time team-talk and he took the paint off the walls," said Kemp.

Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald also paid tribute to Pulis, describing him as "a wonderful man".

Pulis made the journey back from Newport after spending time with his family and was greeted by a tremendous ovation from the home fans as he appeared on the sidelines after the break.

Villa had held a 1-0 lead at half-time through a goal from Stewart Downing, but were overturned in dramatic style through Kenwyne Jones's 80th-minute header and Robert Huth's close-range finish in injury-time.


"I knew during the first half he was here because he was phoning down to the bench," added Kemp.

"He has obviously had a very sad day but typically for him he wanted to get straight into it, put his overalls on and get on with his work.

"That is why he has been a great manager for this football club. He is desperate, with all else he has got going on, to have an impact.

"His appearance gave the players and the fans a boost and I think you saw that."

Pulis brought on striker Ricardo Fuller and winger Jermaine Pennant as his side pushed forward in the second half, with the latter's free-kick leading to the decisive goal.

The win brought Stoke their first points of the season after three defeats in their first three league games.

West Ham are now the only Premier League team yet to register a point and the Potters will attempt to maintain their momentum when they face the Hammers on Saturday.

Late goals disappoint MacDonald

Kemp hopes the win proves some solace to Pulis.

"The result is not going to change what has happened to him today but hopefully it will give him a boost that the team is up and running and got three points," he said.

MacDonald, whose side could have gone third in the table with a win, believes Stoke's players showed their commitment to their manager even before his arrival at the Britannia Stadium.

"I feel very sad for Tony but he is a wonderful man. I don't think it would have changed the way his team played," he said.

"I think the way they acknowledge how good he is to them showed in the first half as well."

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see also
Stoke City 2-1 Aston Villa
13 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Stoke v Aston Villa as it happened
13 Sep 10 |  Football
Stoke City v Aston Villa photos
13 Sep 10 |  Football

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