Invaluable lessons can be learnt from Pulis’ ‘steady’ Stoke City

Whisper it quietly, but I’ve developed a quiet admiration for Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis over the past few years.

Now in their fifth season in the Premier League, The Potters have built steadily, comfortably avoided relegation, made the FA Cup Final and had a run in the Europa League. And all this with a lifetime fan and British owner at the helm.

They’re not a big club but one Norwich City can learn from and if The Canaries can mirror Stoke’s recent history it would be some achievement. We know they come with their own ugly style of play, which was why last week’s 1-0 win over Pulis’ men was so sweet.

It was a horrible 90 minutes of football to sit thorugh but it was another big win before a vital clash with struggling Reading tomorrow.

Last week I suggested that Bradley Johnson may be dropped so of course he went out and had a stormer and scored the winning goal.

It was another impressive performance from Alexander Tettey who is somewhat of a Yaya Toure-Lite with marauding runs at opposition defences.

Several weeks ago I conveyed my disappointment at the £30 ticket prices for last week’s League Cup clash with Spurs, predicting a half empty stadium and flat atmosphere.

Unfortunately I was right and the game was played in near silence (save the vocal travelling supporters) but thankfully the players rallied and managed to sneak through to the Quarter-Finals.

David McNally has continually tried to justify the ticket prices but I think he knows he got it wrong and took to Twitter following the draw for the last eight asking fans what would be a fair price to pay for another grudge match with Aston Villa.

Fair play to him for doing this – with the appeal of a genuine cup run and prices at the marginally cheaper £25, this game should get much closer to a sell-out.