Pulis delighted as Kitson hits the goal trail

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Stoke manager Tony Pulis believes Dave Kitson is ready to make his mark at the club after a difficult year following his £5.5million move from Reading.

The 29-year-old striker scored the only goal against Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium with his first Premier League goal.

Pulis said: "We are pleased Dave has got on the scoresheet. It has been a long time coming. I have to say the supporters have been first class with him."

It was the second time he found the target inside a week following his strike in the Carling Cup win over Leyton Orient. Kitson wheeled away in delight after his goal in the 43rd minute when Sunderland failed to clear a corner from Liam Lawrence.

Last season he failed to settle and after 18 games without a goal for the Potters, he was loaned back to his old club Reading in January.

"I have never known anything like it for a player who was the record signing not to score for 12 months and still the fans to get behind him and encourage him," added Pulis. "It speaks volumes for the supporters of this club. Strikers more than other player really rely on scoring goals for their confidence."

Pulis, who gave a run-out in the second half to new signings Tuncay Sanli and Robert Huth, could be about to secure the services of Sunderland defender Danny Collins. Collins was on the bench for the Black Cats with question marks about his future after a fee was agreed between the clubs.

Manager Steve Bruce said: "We have given Danny the opportunity to speak to Stoke. It is his call now. He has been a wonderful servant to the club. We will leave it up to him over the next couple of days to see what he wants to do."

Carlos Edwards and Grant Leadbitter have been given permission to speak to Ipswich and Bruce added: "Whether anything will happen before Tuesday we are not quite sure."

Bruce was angered at the way his side failed to deal with Stoke's set-pieces, saying: "The simple fact is we struggle desperately to defend our box. Certainly at the moment we have to do something as it is a huge problem. If you struggle to defend set-pieces in the Premier League you come unstuck."

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Ipswich Town
Danny Collins
Stoke City
Grant Leadbitter
Robert Huth
League Cup
Tuncay Sanli
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Carlos Edwards
Dave Kitson
Liam Lawrence
Leyton Orient

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