'We looked loose without him' - Stoke City boss Tony Pulis laments Glenn Whelan absence

The Potters boss praised the Republic of Ireland international's quality, noting that the side missed his presence during the 3-1 loss to Aston Villa
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has praised Glenn Whelan, noting that the midfielder keeps the Potters 'compact'.

Pulis, 55, noted that Glenn Whelan's absence during the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, April 6, meant that his team 'looked loose' and hit out at the player's detractors.

"Glenn Whelan takes a lot of stick from supporters," Pulis told the Irish Independent. "But he keeps us tight and compact and we looked loose without him.

"He gets picked by his country and me, and people still criticise him. Hopefully, people have come to the game and seen why he plays because he keeps us compact."

Meanwhile, Stoke City defender Marc Wilson has emerged as an injury concern after limping off against Aston Villa.

The Republic of Ireland international picked up a hamstring strain during the clash with Villa and awaits a full assessment.