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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Stoke duo put dispute behind them

Ricardo Fuller
Ricardo Fuller now faces a three-match ban

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has said Ricardo Fuller and Andy Griffin have "kissed and made up" following their on-field altercation on Sunday.

Pulis insisted that Fuller, who was sent off for striking Griffin in the defeat by West Ham, would not be sold.

"Ric and Griff have apologised to one another and to the group as a whole. They've also been punished in-house and it's over and done with," said Pulis.

"Ric has two-and-a-half years left on his contract and he's going nowhere."

Fuller appeared to slap the Stoke captain after the Hammers had equalised at Upton Park.

Following the striker's dismissal, 10-man Stoke valiantly tried to hang on to a point but were denied by Diego Tristan's 88th minute winner.

I get on very well with Ric and he's a smashing lad. He has his moments, but so does everyone else

Tony Pulis

Pulis said: "We had a really good meeting with everyone having their say and, as I've said many times before, we've got a smashing group of lads here. There isn't one bad egg among them.

"The incident was disappointing in lots of respects and we can't deny that. But everyone makes mistakes and you have to learn from them and get on with life.

"They are both committed players with passion, but on this occasion the passion flowed over.

"Unfortunately, we also went on to lose a game we would probably have got at least a point from if we had kept 11 men on the field.

"To add to that, we will have to do without Ric who has been suspended for the next three games."

Pulis admitted Fuller had a short fuse and had let the team down, but added: "All the talk about sacking him or selling him, or this and that, is a load of rubbish.

"I get on very well with Ric and he's a smashing lad. He has his moments, but so does everyone else. He's also a great talent and an important player at this football club."

The defeat at Upton Park extended City's winless run to six games and leaves them 18th in the Premier League.

And although new signings were not imminent, Pulis revealed the club was desperately trying to bring in new players in January to boost their bid to avoid relegation.

606: DEBATE

"We have identified a number of targets and there is work going on behind the scenes to see if the players we want are available, and to see if we can afford them," said the Welshman.

"There is no chance of us paying over the odds for players, but we are desperately trying to get a few in to help us.

"The players we have are also hoping we can bring some in to give us a boost, but for the moment I'm concentrating on preparing the team for an important FA Cup tie at Hartlepool."

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see also
West Ham 2-1 Stoke
28 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
28 Dec 08 |  Premier League


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