Pulis proud of Potters

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Tony Pulis spoke of his pride after watching his Stoke side secure a place in the final qualifying round of the Europa League with victory over Hajduk Split in Croatia.

The Potters, who went into the third round second leg with a 1-0 lead from last week's first leg at the Britannia Stadium, put in an impressively controlled display over 90 minutes, Pulis' players seemingly untroubled by the vociferous home supporters at Stadion Poljud before substitute Ljubo Milicevic's own goal gave them victory on the night in stoppage time.

"I'm very proud of the players and for the football club," said Pulis. "The chairman (Peter Coates) has his family out here today. They will be absolutely delighted and I am very pleased for them."

Stoke are now a two-legged tie away from the group stages proper, with their name going into the hat for Friday's draw for the qualifying play-off stage.

This is the first time the Potters have played in major European competition for 37 years and having been immediately eliminated on the two occasions they competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1970s, it is also the first time they have emerged from a continental tie triumphant.

"We were quietly confident," Pulis said. "The important thing was to make sure that we came here with the lads full of confidence.

"We know Hajduk are a very famous and great club, and they have fantastic supporters - we knew the atmosphere would be brilliant.

"But we thought that if we played our game, and we played as well as we can, with the lads putting the effort and commitment in, then we'd have as good a chance as them of winning the game.

"This is the first time the club has played a European tie and actually qualified or gone through, so it's another new bridge we have crossed.

"We got into the Premier League a few years ago, then we got to Wembley (for the FA Cup final last season) and now we have crossed this bridge - they are three fantastic achievements in such a small space of time."

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Europa League
European News
Stoke City
Premier League
FA Cup

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