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The Stoke boss believes Eastlands outfit will fight for the title next season and Potters will give it everything on Sunday as they are involved in the fight to avoid relegation



After watching his side lose 3-0 at Manchester City, Stoke City manager Tony Pulis believes that Roberto Mancini's side are similar to the Chelsea team of five years ago.

Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League title with many of the same players who are still at the club today.

And Pulis can see the similarities between that squad and the one being assembled at Eastlands under Roberto Mancini.

“They [Man City] remind me of Chelsea five years ago under Jose Mourinho," Pulis told reporters.

"They’re a big, strong, powerful group of players with good pace and ability and talent as well so they’ll be a force next year. They’ll be a danger to the other teams chasing the championship."

“It was difficult with the team we put out. Missing Etherington, Jones, Huth, Fuller and Higgingbotham, it’s like half your team and you’ve got to come here with your best team and hope," he told reporters after the match.

The defeat marks a bad end of the season for Stoke, who can be proud of their exploits which sees them in touching distance of a top-ten finish and has resulted in an FA Cup final which guarantees them a place in the Europa League season.

They finish their season at home to relegation threatened Wigan Athletic, but Pulis said he will send out a strong team in order to respect the Premier League.

“We have a responsibility as a football club in the best league in the world to make sure we turn up on Sunday and give it everything," Pulis added.

"We want to finish in the top 10. If we finish in the top 10, get in the FA Cup final and being in Europe next year, that’s quite an extraordinary season for this football club.

“For five years we’ve had nothing but progress. We’ve just improved and improved and improved over five years and I don’t think any clubs can stand up and say ‘every year we’ve got better’.

“I’ve got great respect for Roberto [Martinez] and for Dave Whelan at Wigan. I think Dave Whelan has done a magnificent job at that football club and Roberto is a great lad, a great football man but we’ll be desperately trying to win it."

Looking forward to next season, Pulis is preparing to add to his squad, but he refuses to send he club into debt.

"The chairman understands what we’ve got and what we’re trying to do but we’ll do our best. He’s a very supportive chairman; a great man and I’ve got a lot of respect for him," he added.

"He’s not just a chairman he’s a friend and I’ve got a lot of respect for the Coates family and I’m sure there are players out there that fall within our price range and if we’ve got the money then we’ll do business but we won’t, which is another thing this club is proud of, we won’t be taking this club into debt.

"The football club is solvent and it’s a football club in the Premier League which is very competitive."

“You look at the money that Man City are throwing around, we can’t do that and we won’t do that because it will affect the football club. We will do it in a steady way, in small steps but the problem we’ve got is that we’ve made giant steps this year and we need to dampen those expectations.”

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