Football

Pulis - Time for change

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Stoke manager Tony Pulis has warned there have to be changes made to his squad this summer if the club is to build on their successful maiden Premier League season.

The Potters defied predictions to finish 12th but Pulis accepts he cannot afford to stand still in terms of improving his playing staff.

"There have to be changes if we are to move on as a football club and that has to mean changes in the dressing room," said the manager.

"Everyone knows we are trying to bring players. To be honest, I'm expecting a lot of them to be asking about their futures any way because they won't have been happy at playing on the fringes.

"I respect them on that and we will see what we can do in terms of getting players fixed up elsewhere.

"I haven't yet had anything firm come in for them though."

That could signal the end for a number of players, with the likes of Dave Kitson, Andy Griffin and Michael Tonge candidates for an exit having struggled to hold down their places last season.

Kitson, who failed to score in 17 appearances after his £5million record transfer, went back to former Coca-Cola Championship side Reading on loan but their failure to win promotion meant a deal to re-sign permanently fell through.

However, none will leave until Pulis can find suitable replacements.

"The strength and balance of the squad is always your first priority as manager so no-one will be leaving until it is in Stoke City's interests to let them go," he told the Stoke Sentinel.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Reading
Stoke City
Football
Championship
Andy Griffin
Premier League
Dave Kitson
Michael Tonge
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