Pulis not getting carried away by Stoke form

The Potters are up to ninth in the Premier League table following an impressive run of four victories in five matches, but their manager is still targeting the 40-point mark
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis says his main aim this season is reaching the 40-point mark, despite his team's impressive recent run of form.

The Potters, currently ninth in the Premier League table with 22 points from 15 games, have won four of their last five matches, including a 1-0 victory away to West Brom on December 1.

But, ahead of a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday, Pulis has played down their expectations for the campaign.

"We have to be at our maximum every game to get results in the Premier League," he told reporters. "We are not good enough to do anything other than that.

11/1 Stoke are 11/1 with Bet365 to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park
"Luckily, in most of the games this year we have been at that maximum, and from that we have managed to get the results that I think we have deserved.

"But there is a long way to go and we have to get to those 40 points. I don't care what anybody says - that is our main aim every time we start a Premier League season."

Saturday's opponents have preferred summer signing Christian Benteke to Darren Bent for much of the season so far, but Pulis refused to be drawn on talk that Villa boss Paul Lambert could part with his £18 million striker in January.

The 54-year-old added: "He is not my player. Whatever Paul does and whatever Darren does at Aston Villa is their responsibility.

"You have to ask Paul about that. If you ask me about someone else's players, that is none of my business."