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Magnificent Seven Fan's Q&A Take Two: Stoke

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1. Stoke are still hanging on in there within touching distance of a number of established Premier League sides. Most of the football experts have written you off. Can you avoid relegation and how would you sum up your season to date?

Touch and go to be very honest. We've been very pleased with our home form, but have been let down by some terrible away performances.

2. Outside of the 0-0 draw with Liverpool you've lost five of your last six league games. But those defeats haven't been for lack of effort. Indeed, you've suffered some cruel results. What's been going both right and wrong?

Tony Pulis has managed to keep the great atmosphere in the dressing room from last season going into this one. There was an uncharacteristic breakdown in togetherness with the Fuller/Griffin sending off against West Ham but that is hopefully water under the bridge.

Our main problems are that we've suffered with an inability to take our chances when they're offered, a naivety that sometimes makes us easy prey to a late goal or two as against Man U on Boxing Day then Chelsea the other week and the recurring knack to let in three quick first half goals which kill off the game as we've seen in the away games against Blackburn, Bolton and Spurs.

3. If you were Tony Pulis, what would be the direction of your team talk before sending your players out to meet Man City this weekend?

At home, our form is far better than away from the Brit. Another full house does give us an edge and the players have needed no motivation so far. He'll just tell them, as usual, to keep it tight and the pressure on.

4. What's your verdict on the vitriol dished out to Man City, most notably by sports hacks this past fortnight?

I was looking forward to seeing Kaka and I know so were many other Potters fans, but it's no different to the all those 'pundits' who said that we'd struggle to pick up any points at the start of the season.

We all know how bad news about any club is always more interesting to other clubs' fans and thick skins are needed when you're the 'richest club in the world.'

5. 'The City Three Step challenge:' What comes into your head when you think of Manchester City? Give us first the image you see, second the feeling you get and third the word that sums us up...

Camels, envy, money!

6. 'Six Plus Five:' FIFA President Sepp Blatter is continuing his campaign to impose a maximum quota of five overseas players on every English team. Do you agree or disagree with his proposal?

Disagree - we'd not have an eleven to put out, but I do have some sympathy as it should raise the quality of English players over time.

7. What's your prediction for Saturday?

1-1. James Beattie to score on his home debut, but Robinho to get a late goal for a draw.

Very many thanks and respect to Chris and The Vital Stoke team. Another cracking interview.

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 29 2009

Time: 2:28PM

Your Comments

whos the hottie!!! her dad must have be a baker cos shes got nice baps!!!!
Pete-the-Tractor
The left one is an England Supporter. Good Interview I love the City Three Step Challenge.
Buzz Lightyear
Guys, you are soooooooo predictable...........;-D
kennyclementstache
The footballs are impeccable (unlike stoke) but the face is a bit of a mess!
fifthcolumnblue
Loved the three step challenge answer I think it sums up how most people see us especially envy.
Doody
Now Pulis wades into City. Keep it coming Tony, you'll only makes us all the more determined: "I don't think Roman Abramovich or the Sheikh at Man City know the history of the clubs. You hear people are going to pay this or that, it's Monopoly money but it's become part of the game. Someone comes in from abroad and gives you loads of money but doesn't know what you're doing or what the structure of the club is. You worry that these people come in, use the club as a toy and then walk away leaving it in whatever state they want. I wouldn't swap my chairman (Peter Coates) for anyone. Peter will sit and talk to you for hours about players and the history of the club. It's good to have a chairman who has been brought up in this area and understands the history of the football club. He's a massive supporter of the club, I don't think you can say that about Abramovich or the Sheikh, whoever he is, at Man City."
Johnny Baguette
By the way, regarding the photo, I merely wanted an image that encapsulated the joy of being a Stoke fan as well as the team's colours with a patriotic edge in attempt to inspire debate.
Johnny Baguette
JB not complaining about the Totty, sorry Photo. The first thing ADUG said (and I can't find it now), was that they looked at the Clubs history and tradition.
Buzz Lightyear
Absolutely Buzz, they've been working hard at building contacts with fans sites and groups and the Manchester community. Built a gym, are buying the stadium and are researching slashing ticket prices. Deals with Puma and Etihad are mooted. Yet more lazy comments from a rival manager.
Johnny Baguette
Talking about the club's history is all well and good, I'm sure Stoke's past is far more interesting than anything that will ever happen to them again. City on the other hand are in the process of rewriting history, so I'm quite content to have foreign owners and look to the future, thanks very much Mr Pulis. If ADUG walk away one day I won't mind as long as they leave us debt free, with a bulging trophy cabinet, a crop of world class talent and the best academy in the land. We've got 2 out of 4 , let's have the other 2!
fifthcolumnblue
This is an extract of the letter that was sent by Sheikh Mansour:We are ambitious for the club, like you, but not unreasonably so and we understand it takes time to build a team capable of sustaining a presence in the top four of the Premier League and winning European honours. We know a little of the history at City also and whilst we want to bring in the best players in the world, we also want to see the academy continue to develop talent and give Mark Hughes the chance to bring home-grown players into the team. We consider Mark Hughes to be one of the prime assets of the club. We will back his judgement in what players to bring in and we look forward to working more closely with him in the future. We are building a structure for the future not just a team of all-starshttp://www.mcfc.co.uk/default.sps?pageid=115&pagegid=%7BDBD12D53%2D8346%2D431D%2DA04F%2D5D0F8664DE80%7D&newsid=6619000&siteid=&pageno=8&newscategory=&frommonth=&fromyear=&tomonth=&toyear=
Buzz Lightyear
I remember Banksy, John Marsh, Mick Pejic, a Greenhoff here a Grenhoff there, centre halves with legs like tractors, George Eastham and Peter Dobing pulling the strings in midfield and Stoke in the 70's beating Arsenal 5-0 on MotD with John Farmer in goal. Nurse , the screens........ CITY 'TIL I GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
kennyclementstache
what do they feed the girls on in the Potteries....!!!....wasnt that other cracker that was drooled over fro weeks from that area ( Port Vale ).....??
lincolnblue
Magnificent two
CoxintheBox
 

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