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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Stoke boss slams Chelsea 'diving'

Tony Pulis
Pulis' Stoke currently lie 18th in the Premier League

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has accused Chelsea's foreign players of feigning injury in an attempt to get his players booked.

Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke: "You've only got to touch the foreign players and they stay down and roll around.

"They try and put pressure on the ref, as soon as a player has been booked they're up and running around again."

Late goals from Juliano Belletti and Frank Lampard condemned City to a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Pulis singled out German midfielder Michael Ballack for specific criticism.

"Our players jump straight up," said Pulis.

"James Beattie was brought down three minutes after Ballack went down and jumped straight back up.

"They try to put pressure on the referee but we have to accept that," he added.

Earlier this season Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accused Stoke of deliberately injuring some of his side.

Pulis went on to say he was impressed with the performance of new signing Beattie after the debutant striker, a midweek signing from Sheffield United, set up Rory Delap for the opening goal.

"He was smashing, especially making the goal for Rory. We need him to score a goal early and get him off the mark," said Pulis.

James Beattie
Beattie is Stoke's second signing of the January transfer window
"His effort was fantastic, and he'll always cause problems for defenders."

Pulis also praised his other January signing Matthew Etherington, who was making his second start for Stoke since joining from West Ham.

"Etherington was always a threat, especially when the game got a little bit stretched, he ran the ball up the pitch and looked so dangerous," Pulis said.

"He felt his hamstring a little bit and that's why I decided to take him off."

Stoke are not action again until 27 January at Tottenham, and are using the break to head to Dubai for a mid-season training camp.

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see also
Chelsea 2-1 Stoke
17 Jan 09 |  Premier League

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