Tony Pulis is not certain the breathtaking manner in which Stoke sealed their first FA Cup final appearance will be enough to silence their large band of critics.
The Potteries outfit booked a May 14 confrontation with Manchester City thanks to a 5-0 hammering of Bolton, the biggest semi-final demolition since 1939.
And, not one of the goals came from a set piece, which is not bad for a side routinely labelled long-ball merchants and even a 'pub team' by one outspoken critic. "We have been criticised and pulled down and I am not sure whether this victory will stop it," said Pulis.
"There is always the stigma. When we lost our first game at the start of the season, one bookmaker paid out on us to get relegated.
"The first year we were in the Premier League we worked very hard at being organised and methodical in what we did.
"We have moved on from that and will continue to get better.
"But we don't have the finance to do it over a short period of time and I am pretty single-minded in how I think a football club should evolve.
"People worry too much about what other people think. The best thing is to get on with your job and do the best that you can. Have a plan and stick to it."
Matthew Etherington and Robert Huth had given Stoke the perfect start with two goals in seven minutes. Having started the game with such high hopes, Bolton were left shell-shocked and once Kenwyne Jones added a third on the half hour there was no way back.
Former Bolton player Jon Walters bagged two more after half-time to seal the biggest semi-final victory since Wolves crushed Grimsby 72 years ago.
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