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Potters boss admits Avram Grant's substitutions changed the game

Despite admitting that he was disappointed with the 3-1 loss to West Ham United in the League Cup, Stoke City boss Tony Pulis remained largely philosophical about his side’s third defeat on the spin.

The Potters boss was happy with his side’s first half performance against the Hammers but admitted that their failure to secure a crucial second goal contributed to their downfall.

"We're disappointed. We thought we played well first half," Pulis told reporters.

"I thought we had more opportunities. Our final pass was poor but we needed that second goal.

"West Ham threw everything at us in that second half, as you'd expect."

Stoke’s attacking options suffered a huge blow when Pulis was forced to substitute Kenwyne Jones and Jermaine Pennant, and he admitted that losing the duo did not help his side’s cause in the second half.

He said: "The two substitutions with Kenwyne and Jermaine, who were under the weather a little bit, didn't help us.

"I thought Kenwyne was very good when he was on the pitch; he was a threat.

"But fair play to West Ham; you've got to give them credit.”

The Stoke boss also pointed to the introduction of Victor Obinna and Mark Noble in the second half as a huge turning point in the game.

He added: "Obinna came on, young Noble, and they changed the game, really."

When asked whether West Ham’s late comeback surprised him, Pulis responded by praising the efforts of his side.

"It's cup football; they've got nothing to lose," he said.

"We worked very, very hard for a good 75 minutes today and we tired a little bit at the end. But I've got to give them credit."

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