Pulis believes Stoke's new pre-season plans will benefit the players

The Potters' manager has finalised the club's trip to America and hopes the tour will get the squad into the best possible shape for the start of the new Premier League season
Tony Pulis has tweaked Stoke City’s pre-season programme for the first time in six years, and believes it will be beneficial for the team's preparations for the 2012-13 season.

For the past six years Stoke have made an annual trip to a training base in Austria, ever since Pulis arrived at the club. But the Potters’ manager is looking for a change of scenery as plans have been put in place for a tour in the United States.  

Stoke will be involved in games in Ohio, Florida and Missouri between 24th July and August 1st. Pulis has been reluctant in the past to take long-haul flights, but believes the trip to America will be beneficial to the players.

"There will be some travelling involved, but it is during the summer and not in the middle of the season," Pulis told The Sentinel.

"And the internal flights between venues will only be about two hours each, so that's just like jumping on a coach to Bristol.

"Obviously the trip to and from America will be difficult, but overall I think the travelling is manageable.

"I've spoken to two or three managers who've been out there in recent years to get a feel of what the trip will be like. Their conclusion was that it was beneficial in terms of pre-season preparation.

"It will be warm out there at that time of year and that will be good because you want it to be demanding for the players.

"They will also be tough games physically for our lads because the American teams will already be in the middle of their season.

"They might also want to prove a point or two whenever an English Premier League team comes into town."