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Page last updated at 18:27 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 19:27 UK

Pulis is Stoke's hero - Lawrence

Stoke Fans
Stoke fans jubilant at the thought of top flight football again (Getty)

Liam Lawrence has paid tribute to manager Tony Pulis following Stoke City's promotion to the Premier League.

"I'm delighted to achieve promotion," he told BBC Radio Stoke. "We owe this to one man and that is Tony Pulis.

"He's a good manager. There's no doubt about that. He came in when we weren't doing well and turned the club around."

"Everything I have achieved this year I owe to him," said winger Lawrence, voted Stoke's Player of the Year by his team-mates and the fans.

The Potters returned to the top flight of English Football after a 23-year absence thanks to the 0-0 draw with Leicester, which also sent the Foxes down.

The only team able to catch Stoke was Hull City, but they went down 1-0 to Ipswich at Portman Road.

"When Ipswich scored and the fans started cheering I began to fill up," admitted Lawrence. "That's never happened to me before on the pitch.

"Something told me that we'd done it."

Lawrence, who had previously stated that this would be the biggest game of his career, said that he suffered a major bout of pre-match nerves.

"I didn't sleep much last night," he said. "I even considered going for a drive at two in the morning to try and tire myself out.

"I was wide awake, my stomach felt terrible and I was trying to find something on the telly that would put me to sleep.

"I eventually nodded off about four o'clock."

The Potters will celebrate their promotion on Tuesday evening with an open-top bus ride through the city that will conclude at the Britannia Stadium.


see also
Pulis pays tribute to Stoke owner
04 May 08 |  Championship
Stoke 0-0 Leicester
04 May 08 |  Championship
Stoke revel under 'good pressure'
02 May 08 |  Stoke City
I owe a lot to Pulis - Shawcross
01 May 08 |  Stoke City
Pulis sure Stoke will be promoted
04 Apr 08 |  Stoke City
Pulis pledges to strengthen squad
06 May 07 |  Stoke City
Pulis thanks chairman for support
31 Oct 06 |  Stoke City
Coates confirms support for Pulis
21 Sep 06 |  Stoke City
Pulis stands by management style
18 Jun 06 |  Stoke City
Pulis confirmed as Stoke manager
14 Jun 06 |  Stoke City


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