Stoke boss Pulis blames Crouch's goal drought on poor service

The Potters' manager has refused to criticise the former England international, saying the club's struggles in front of goal are down to a lack of supply from midfield
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has defended Peter Crouch's poor form by blaming the rest of the team for a lack of service.

13/5 Peter Crouch is 13/5 to score anytime against Newcastle with BetVictor
The England international has only scored five goals in the Premier League this season and the Potters have only managed one win in their last nine outings.

Crouch had recently apologised to the Stoke supporters and vowed to turn his form around but Tony Pulis says the blame should lie with the striker's team-mates.

"Crouch is more set now than he was a month ago and settled down. He has no problems whatsoever," Pulis told reporters.

"I've looked at the stats and the videos and you have to give the forwards an opportunity to score goals.

"If there's one weakness, it is that we have not got any end products - and you cannot blame the forwards for that.

"It's a little lack of confidence. When we started the season we had a better balance than we have now but we have to turn things around."

Stoke travel to St James' Park on Sunday hoping to claim a rare away win against a resurgent Newcastle.