Stoke City manager Tony Pulis believes this Premier League campaign is the most surreal he has experienced since the club joined the top flight five years ago.
Following his side’s hard-fought 1-1 draw at Sunderland last night, the Potters sit 11th in the table on 41 points, only six points above Wigan who occupy the final relegation spot.
With only two fixtures remaining, Stoke are still very much under threat of being relegated. At this stage last year they were guaranteed Premier League football in 14th place, however, the club find themselves in a relegation dogfight, which could see one of eight sides facing the drop.
“The league is very surreal this year. I've been in the Premier League for five years with Stoke now and I've never known it this tight,” Pulis told the London Evening Standard.
"But we are very pleased to have 41 points. I'm amazed it isn't sorted out yet. It's one of those funny seasons."
Despite the club’s current position, Pulis believes that the supporter’s expectations have gone through the roof during the Welshman’s tenure at the club - something that can work against a manager.
“It’s always a test of your character and the way you manage, you have to keep the players focused because they can easily lose it. I might be stubborn but if people want voice their opinions, it’s fine,” added Pulis.
“If you look at the club over the past six years we’ve been to four cup quarter-finals, a semi-final and the final of the FA Cup. We’ve got to the last 30 in Europe and we got more players that have ever played for their countries with us, in the 150-year history of the club.”
Stoke’s two remaining fixtures are at home to Tottenham Hotspur and away on the final game of the season at fellow relegation candidates Southampton.