Pulis rules out Stoke complaint

PA Sport
Tony Pulis
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Tony Pulis

Stoke boss Tony Pulis insisted the club would not be reporting the incidents that saw two of their players targeted by objects thrown from the Besiktas stands in their Europa League defeat, saying: "We're Stoke and we don't complain."

In the first half Ricardo Fuller appeared to have a lighter thrown towards him after opening the scoring in Stoke's 3-1 defeat at Istanbul's intimidating Inonu Stadium.

It was a second-half corner that brought the matter to the fore, though, with Jermaine Pennant initially unable to take the set-piece because of the number of missiles raining down on him.

Several Besiktas players appealed for calm and referee Marcin Borski, having motioned Pennant back onto the pitch, went to speak to the home bench before restarting play.

The winger said: "I was about to take a corner and I was getting pelted with everything: lighters, Euro coins, I was thinking of picking one up and putting it in my sock! I didn't want to take it because every second I could see things flying past me. Until that stopped I didn't feel comfortable taking the corner and then obviously the referee called me away."

Pulis insisted they would not report the incident to UEFA, saying: "We won't be complaining to anyone. We're Stoke and we don't complain. Hopefully we'll have benefited from all this."

The incidents detracted from what was a brilliant advert for the Europa League played in a red-hot atmosphere as Besiktas sought the victory that would ensure their place in the last 32 as Group E winners.

Stoke had already qualified and Pulis took a pragmatic approach, leaving all 11 players who had started the 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Tottenham last weekend. Although the result spelled the end of their nine-match unbeaten run in the competition this season, Pulis was far from downhearted.

He said: "We've finished above [Dynamo] Kiev and we've given Besiktas two very good games, especially when it was 11 against 11.

"Every one of the players who played has done absolutely fantastic for us and even when we went down to 10 men they just kept working and kept going. I was told it was going to be an interesting trip coming to Turkey, and it's certainly been that."

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