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Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Pulis blames ref for Stoke defeat

Tony Pulis
Five of Pulis's players have been sent off in the Premier League this season

Stoke boss Tony Pulis blamed referee Rob Styles for their defeat as 10-man City were beaten 2-0 at Sunderland.

Winger Matthew Etherington was sent off on 65 minutes with the score goalless, and the Black Cats used that advantage to score two late goals.

Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke: "Matty's caught him, he has tripped him, but I think it's a booking.

"The referee can't wait to get his red card out, and then the annoying thing is he gives us the free kick."

Etherington is the fourth Stoke player to be sent off in their last seven Premier League matches.

"We've had two players now taken away from us," Pulis said, alluding to the red card received by Rory Delap in the victory over Manchester City on 31 January.

"They were disappointing reactions by two of our players, they shouldn't have done it, but I think they are two very harsh refereeing decisions."

And there was more bad news for Pulis on Saturday when three of his players were replaced in the opening half-hour through injury.

"Andy Wilkinson felt his ankle again, Ryan Shawcross felt his back stiffen up, and then we lose Ricardo Fuller," said Pulis.

"He's dislocated his shoulder, and that's a very disappointing injury for us because it could mean we lose him for the rest of the season."

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see also
Sunderland 2-0 Stoke
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League

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