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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Thursday, 30 December 2010

Stoke boss Pulis warns Jermaine Pennant to stay focused

Jermaine Pennant
Pennant made 25 appearances in his only season in Spain

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has called on winger Jermaine Pennant to maintain the standards he set before signing a full-time contract with the Potters.

Pennant, 27, signed a two-and-a-half year deal on Wednesday after a spell on loan from Spanish side Real Zaragoza.

But Pulis warned Pennant against becoming complacent.

"It's no good signing the contract and then taking your foot off the pedal, that's the big worry with Jermaine," the Potters boss told BBC Radio Stoke.

After struggling to settle in Spain at Real Zaragoza, the former Birmingham City winger moved to the Britannia Stadium on loan last August.

He has featured in 13 league games since then and Pulis acknowledged he had been an excellent addition to City first-team squad.

I always like to freshen things up at Christmas, I think bringing in one or two new faces gives you a bit of a lift

Tony Pulis

Pulis added: "He's been such a wonderful acquisition for this football club and the supporters have taken to him. But if you speak to people they say he can be a little bit lax at times.

"We've just got to make sure that he enjoys the next two and a half years and gives it the best he can."

Arsenal made Pennant Britain's most expensive teenager when they paid Notts County £2m for his services in 1999.

He also played in the 2007 Champions League final for Liverpool, but having experienced a number of off-field issues, has failed to consistently fulfil his early potential.

"Wide players will have good periods and then they won't, that's the nature of constructive players," Pulis continued.

"We know he'll go up and down a little bit, like the others do, and we'll certainly support him when things are not going well. All we ask for him is to give 110% for this football club every time he walks through the door."

Pulis also said he would look to bring in one or two new faces before the end of January.

"I always like to freshen things up at Christmas, I think bringing in one or two new faces gives you a bit of a lift," he commented.

"As long as they're better than what we've got, and as long as they work to the beat of the drum at this football club, you're looking to do that."

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