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Pulis eyes top ten finish

9 April 2012 23:54

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis hailed the efforts of his players after they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Aston Villa on Monday.

Robert Huth's header cancelled out Andreas Weimann's stunning opener to give the sides a share of the spoils - a fifth draw between the teams in just their last eight meetings.

Thrilled with his team's resolve, Pulis said Stoke must now turn their attention to securing a top ten finish in the Premier League.

"That's 51 games we've now played this season and the second game in only three days," Pulis said.

"I just thought that, even if we lack a lot of things, one thing that you can never criticise us for is our commitment and our effort.

"We've got five games left and we have a responsibility to try and get as many points as we can, and try to finish in the top half of the Premier League.

"For two reasons, for ourselves as a group and for the Coates family who have put a lot of money into the football club.

"Every place higher up you finish, there's a reward and they deserve that for the backing that they have given this football club and this city.

"The players know that. We've had a chat about it and I was pleased with the performance today against a very difficult Aston Villa side."

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has said poor refereeing cost his side the three points.

The Scot argued Stoke goalscorer Huth impeded James Collins before netting the equaliser.

"I am disappointed we didn't get a second goal to put it beyond Stoke because they are always going to threaten you at the set pieces," McLeish said.

"The big disappointment was that I felt the goal should have been disallowed because Huth had his hands on James Collins shoulders and he couldn't get off the ground regardless of whether Huth was up in the air or not.

"I also felt that that free kick leading up to the goal was one of the softest I have seen this season, our man concentrated on the ball and kept his arms at his side and (Jermaine) Pennant eased in front of him and used his experience to get the foul."

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Sunday 20 April

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 35 +52 80
2 35 +41 75
3 33 +54 71
4 34 +18 67
5 34 +21 66
6 35 +2 63
7 33 +18 57
8 35 +5 49
9 35 -15 46
10 35 -10 44
11 35 -13 43
12 35 -10 37
13 35 -4 36
14 33 -6 36
15 34 -14 35
16 33 -11 33
17 35 -28 32
18 35 -34 30
19 35 -42 30
20 34 -24 29

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