Pulis proud after Potters send Gunners crashing

Paul Walker

Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes his side proved they are a match for anyone at the Britannia Stadium by beating Arsenal yesterday.

But he said the team will have to get out of their comfort zone if they are to continue their FA Cup run.

The Potters beat Arsenal's youngsters 3-1 in the the fourth round, but the draw, made two hours later, was not kind to them, as it handed them a daunting away tie at Manchester City.

Pulis was delighted with the victory over the Gunners, which came courtesy of two goals from Ricardo Fuller and a late effort from Dean Whitehead, after Denilson had grabbed a first-half equaliser for the north Londoners.

Pulis said: "At home, we are a match for anyone, with our crowd in full flow when we are roaring about the place.

"The spirit was fantastic from our lads. We knew that whatever side Arsene Wenger selected, it would always be a quality team.

"They were top of the Premier League this week and they have a lot of injuries already.

"But whoever they fielded, it was going to be quality because he has a lot of depth. For Arsene to say we were dangerous is a compliment. That's enough for me."

He added: "I was thinking of taking off Fuller before the second goal, but he may have seen what I was going to do and he made sure he stayed on with that goal.


"He was outstanding, as was Mamady Sidibe, who put in a tremendous amount of work that people do not always see.

"They are a good combination. They are a handful when they are on their game, and they were certainly on form for this one.

"Everybody gave their best. Nobody can question our spirit and togetherness, and the lads have shown that again to get us into the fifth round.

"I am proud of them, and the fans should be after that amount of effort."

Arsenal boss Wenger conceded his youthful side were overpowered but would not accept he was wrong to select an inexperienced XI.

With crucial Premier League games against major rivals Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in a 14-day spell coming up, Wenger clearly was concentrating more on his club's title ambitions.

He said: "The game was more physical than technical, and physically they were stronger than us in a very simple game.

"We were exposed to a fight, and some of our players were a bit young and could not cope with it.

"I do not regret the side I put out, I did not have much choice. We had 10 injuries and a very difficult programme coming up.

"Our selection was simple -- take a look at our schedule and you must see we cannot play the same XI every time, that is for sure."