Pulis fully committed to Europe

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Football News

Stoke boss Tony Pulis feels his team's results in the Europa League so far this season speak volumes for their attitude towards the tournament.

The Potters are having to deal with the demands of taking part in major European competition for the first time in 37 years this term, and will be guaranteed at least six more continental fixtures if they emerge victorious from their play-off tie against FC Thun on Thursday, for which they lead 1-0, to qualify for the group stage.

Asked if he really wanted to get into the Europa League group stage, Pulis said: "Have a look at the results - we are unbeaten in three games and have picked strong teams for all of them. That should answer your question."

Although there is little doubt in Pulis' mind that his squad needs further strengthening before next week's transfer deadline, the Welshman insists he is still prepared to turn potential deals down in order to protect Stoke's wage structure.

Veteran defenders Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson - both of whom were previously free agents - remain the only new arrivals at the club this summer.

Pulis hopes to recruit several more players in the days he has left to do so, but is adamant the price must be right.

"I think everybody knows we have to bring players in - I don't think there is any question from the top of the football club right down," Pulis said.

"Even the youngest supporters will be looking and saying, 'Why haven't we brought players in?'.

"But it is about making sure we do it the way we do it as a football club - that is very important for us. We'll do our business the way we do - we will be open and honest with the clubs we are dealing with, and once we've done those deals, we'll let you all know. We are hoping to bring some in if we can.

"We've got a wage structure that we want to keep to. We miss out on deals, and we have to be big enough to accept that. If supporters get a little bit disappointed with it, then so be it - it won't be the first time we've missed out on deals because we've said no."

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Europa League
Jonathan Woodgate
Matthew Upson
Stoke City
Premier League

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