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The Welshman thanks the Potters faithful for their vocal backing during his seven-year tenure at the Britannia Stadium and urges them to get behind the new manager

Tony Pulis has issued a statement to the Stoke City fans following his split from the club, thanking them for their support over the last seven years.

The Welshman joined the Potters in 2006, guiding them from the Championship to a secure position in the Premier League.

He left the club at the end of the season after a 13th-place finish and has made it clear how thankful he is to the  supporters for their extended support during his tenure.

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Pulis told the Stoke Sentinel: "I am grateful for this opportunity here to express my gratitude because, unlike Roberto Mancini in his local paper last week, I can't afford to take out a full-page advert.

"We have all been on one hell of a journey, one that will live with me and my family forever.

"I feel proud of the fact that I leave a club I found near the bottom of the Championship near the midway point of the Premier League but that couldn't have been done without the efforts of everyone, from chairman Peter Coates through to the club's loyal fans.

"I will never forget the effort and the later celebrations as we won promotion back to the top division for the first time in 23 years.

"A generation of Stoke fans had never seen their club play the best teams in the land week-in, week-out, so I can't tell you what it meant to be manager the day we did that.

"Who could then have dreamed – back in the dark old days at Walsall and the like – that we would one day be travelling to places like Israel, Ukraine, Croatia and Turkey in something called the Europa League?

"And you, Stoke's City's wonderful support, have played such a massive part in the distance we have travelled over the last 10 years and that is why I urge you (for one last time) to get behind the new manager just like you got behind the old one.

"Thank you so much."

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