Tony Pulis has paid the ultimate tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson on the eve of Sunday's showdown against title contenders Manchester United - declaring the Scot "most probably the greatest manager this country has ever seen".
Pulis, who is relishing the opportunity to take his Stoke side to Old Trafford for the final chapter in the title battle, believes United still have "a great chance" of lifting the Barclays Premier League trophy. The eyes of the world will be on Manchester and Chelsea as the race goes right down to the wire, with Carlo Ancelotti's side one point ahead at the summit and knowing victory against Wigan at Stamford Bridge will make matters at Old Trafford immaterial.
"It's a big testament to him...for his age," joked the City boss momentarily. "He's built that football club up. And I don't think people will see that until he actually retires."
He added: "You don't get the recognition until you move away from the post you're in.
"In my opinion he's most probably the greatest manager this country has ever seen."
Stoke prepare to face the reigning champions having not long got over the nightmares of their trip to face the team close to stealing United's title.
The Potters endured a day to forget against Chelsea two weeks ago, going down 7-0 as Salomon Kalou and co ran riot.
Stoke's Premier League status was already secure when they made the trip to London, and Pulis is keen to make sure the fact they have since gone on to eclipse the points tally from their debut campaign in the top flight - becoming only the second team in the history of the Premier League to do so - does not leave City vulnerable to a repeat. He said: "I hope it (the pressure) is not off as much as it was when we walked into Stamford Bridge.
"That's very, very important that we don't have that mentality because United are such a good side that they can do what Chelsea did to us, without a question of doubt.
"So we have to make sure that is spot on and we're ready when that whistle goes."
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