sport

Pulis demands away-day fix

Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits he is concerned by his team's away results this season as the Potters prepare for Saturday's clash at Fulham.

The Potters head into the lunchtime clash with a record which shows six defeats, six draws and only one victory from their 13 top-flight fixtures on the road.

Pulis believes this season his side have put in some of the best away displays since gaining promotion to the division in 2008.

"I think we have played better away from home this year than we have in all the previous years we have been in the Premier League, and we just haven't had the results," Pulis said.

"It is something that does concern you. We have a smashing group of lads who work really, really hard and we just need a little bit of luck as much as anything else.

"Away from home this year I think we have looked a lot more solid, even against the bigger clubs.

"We have gone to Arsenal (their last away game, on February 2) and two or three years ago we would be living on a prayer.

"This year when we went there, we were beaten by a deflected free-kick (in a 1-0 defeat).

"I personally think we played really well and didn't deserve to lose that game. But we haven't had the breaks and you need them, especially away from home."

Pulis regards 12th-placed Fulham, currently four points and two positions worse off than Stoke, as being the same as his own side in many respects; fairly strong at home but struggling for points away.

Referring to the Cottagers - who have lost six, drawn five and won two league games on their travels - he said: "They are a good team on their day.

"I watched the tape the other day from when they played Manchester United and they have got some exceptional players - technically very, very good players.

"They are very similar to us. Their home form is very good, and they tend to find getting results away from home not so easy."

Winger Brek Shea is set to feature in the Potters matchday squad for the first time since his January arrival from FC Dallas, while full-back Marc Wilson poised to return to it almost four months after breaking his leg. However striker Michael Owen is a doubt having felt a problem with his thigh in training this week.

Owen, who joined at the start of the season, has had a disappointing campaign, with his injury-hit Stoke career so far amounting to one start in the FA Cup, six substitute appearances in the Premier League and one goal.

Pulis is not ruling out the possibility of the 33-year-old former England international extending his stay at the Britannia Stadium beyond this term, though.

"We will review it at the end of the season," said Pulis, quoted by The Mirror.

"It will help his cause if he is in the team. Of course it will.

"But he doesn't need to play a certain amount of games to win a contract.

"There is nothing like that in his deal. There is no strings attached to his contract at all."