Stoke City boss Tony Pulis hails 'one of the most successful years in our history'

The Potters reached May's FA Cup final and have flourished in the Europa League, with a last-32 clash with Valencia next up, but the 53-year-old is focusing on league matters first
Tony Pulis has hailed 2011 as simply 'one of the most successful years' in Stoke City's history.

The Welsh boss has seen his side recover from an early season blip to round off a fine year for the club, not only maintaining their Premier League status, but also reaching the FA Cup final against Manchester City in May and qualifying for the Europa League - with the Potters set for a last-32 tie against Valencia.

"We are eighth in the Premier League," he proudly told reporters. "We got to an FA Cup semi-final, which we won 5-0.

"We got to a final and ran Manchester City very close. We got into Europe and qualified for the latter stages and it is our fourth year in the Premier League.

"It has been a remarkable turnaround for the football club and a great achievement by everybody.

"The supporters should be really proud of the players for the commitment they have put in."

Pulis is only focusing on the immediate task in hand, however, with a Boxing Day clash against Aston Villa next up, as his side look to bounce back from Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

"I am the one who looks to the next game," the Welshman said. "That is what you do in management.

"As soon as you take your foot off the pedal the wheels will come off. I cannot afford to do that as we have a tough game against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

"I have never been one to take anything for granted. It is a tough job. When you lose a few games, everybody is after you.

"If you gave me £240million tomorrow I would go and get a team like Manchester City's. That is not going to happen.

"We have to build it gradually over a period of time and try to get better every year without being silly with finances because we cannot afford that."