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Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 12:52 UK

Pulis accepts step up in quality

Tony Pulis
Pulis is managing in the top flight for the first time

Stoke manager Tony Pulis feels Saturday's defeat at Middlesbrough highlights the difference in class in the Premier League.

The Potters played for almost an hour with 10 men after Amdy Faye's red card, and were eventually beaten 2-1.

Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke: "The first goal is a great free-kick.

"We're playing in the Premier League now, we're playing against good players, and they'll move the ball around easily against 10 men."

He added: "Our lads kept working, and I thought they were smashing.

"To lose the game to a mis-hit shot, so late in the game, is disappointing."

Ibrahima Sonko, a 2m signing from Reading, was unavailable for the match at the Riverside, but Pulis is looking forward to working with the Senegalese international.

"We need competition and depth in lots of areas, and one of those is definitely at centre-half.

"We need players who've played in the Premier League before.

"He's had two years in the Premier League, he's done very well with Reading, and we've had some good reports about him."

see also
Middlesbrough 2-1 Stoke
30 Aug 08 |  Premier League

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