Stoke City’s Rory Delap has spoken highly of his manager after Tony Pulis inspired a second half comeback against Aston Villa.
Pulis was expected to miss the game having returned home to South Wales to be with his family after his mother passed away.
But he appeared at the Britannia Stadium just after kick-off, inspiring his players to stage a second half fight back.
Rory Delap revealed Pulis’ presence in the dressing room at half time was the inspiration for the teams 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.
“We should be able to do without him but great credit to him for turning up,” said Delap, “I think the half-time talk was what we needed.
“It was a must-win game – I think that’s probably a big reason why he [Pulis] turned up and came into the dressing room at half-time.”
Goals from Kenwyne Jones and Robert Huth secured the win for the Potters and Huth has dedicated his injury time winner to his manager.
“It was a terrible thing that happened to the gaffer and his family, so I want to dedicate my goal and our victory to them,” said Huth.
And new signing Kenwyne Jones was also quick to pay tribute underlying the squads closeness as they search for a top half Premier League finish.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Jones, “”I guess Tony was grieving but it spurred him on to come back and do what he loves.”
West Ham United are next up for the Potters and the unity that the Stoke squad are showing can secure them the three points – they are 1/1 to win at home.
West Ham are looking for their first three points of the season and are 11/4 to win.
The draw is available at 12/5. See the latest Barclays Premier League football betting markets here.