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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 11:43 UK

Stoke boss hails returning Diao

Salif Diao
Salif Diao signed a new 12-month contract with Stoke in July

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has praised midfielder Salif Diao for his performance in the 1-1 draw against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Senegal international Diao was making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a back injury.

Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke: "He was brilliant, absolutely outstanding.

"He played very well for the reserves on Monday and he's trained very well, so I thought it was a good game to bring him back into."

The Potters took the lead thanks to Robert Huth's first goal for the club, and Pulis was quick to praise the impact that the former Middlesbrough defender has made at the Britannia Stadium.

"He's a dream to work with, he's a fantastic professional and today I thought he was outstanding again," added Pulis.

"He was up against a really top Russian player in Bilyaletdinov and he's given him nothing."

The international break means that Stoke will not play again until 17 October, when they face West Ham at home, but Pulis will be working hard to keep the club progressing.

"I'll be taking in loads of games," he added. "I'll be taking in a couple of our players in some international games and watching a player that's been recommended to us, so I'll be busy again."

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