Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits he has been impressed by record signing Peter Crouch's humility since the England striker arrived at the club last month on transfer deadline day.

Crouch - recruited from Tottenham for £10million - followed up his equaliser in the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Manchester United on Saturday by netting another on Thursday night as the Potters came from behind to beat Besiktas 2-1 in the Europa League, his 23rd goal in 51 games in UEFA club competitions.

Asked about Crouch's scoring statistics, Pulis said: "It's great for Peter and it's great for us, although the big thing was the way he worked off the ball and the way he defended their crosses. Their set-plays were very good and Crouchy was fantastic defending them."

He added: "The players have really taken to him and he is a great lad in the dressing room. Given what Peter has done in his career, to come and join in and be part of what we've got, and be as humble as he has been, is fantastic.

"I have to say the likes of (fellow summer signings) Jonathan Woodgate, Matthew Upson and Cameron Jerome have been exactly the same. They have all really bedded in because they have just bought into what we are trying to do, and long may it continue."

The win over Besiktas at the Britannia Stadium saw Stoke rise to the top of Europa League Group E and means they go into Sunday's Premier League trip to Swansea having lost just once in 13 games in all competitions so far this season.

Pulis feels home victories will be key if the Staffordshire side are to progress in the tournament, something echoed by their Danish stopper Thomas Sorensen.

"It's a big win for us, for sure," Sorensen told www.stokecityfc.com. "We have targeted the games here at the Britannia Stadium as matches where we want to get three points, and we feel if we are to qualify then we are going to have to win our home games.

"We had the confidence that we could do it against Besiktas having already played well and beaten some very good teams here this season, but to actually get that win on the board in our first home game of this stage is very pleasing for us.

"It definitely puts us in a good position now, and it will give us even more confidence going in to the rest of the games in the group. It wasn't easy, though - they are a very good side and they showed it. But we did well and in the second half I thought we looked like the only side who would win the game."

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Topics:
#Europa League
#Tottenham Hotspur
#Jonathan Woodgate
#Matthew Upson
#Stoke City
#Football
#Premier League
#Peter Crouch
#Manchester United
#Cameron Jerome
#Swansea City
#Thomas Sorensen