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Stoke City manager Tony Pulis condemns 'bad challenges' from Valencia's Tino Costa in 1-0 defeat

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis condemns 'bad challenges' from Valencia's Tino Costa in 1-0 defeat

The Potters boss was left upset with the lack of action taken by the Danish officials after two instances left Dean Whitehead with grazes down his shin in Thursday's clash

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has condemned challenges made on Dean Whitehead by Valencia midfielder Tino Costa in their 1-0 Europa League defeat to the Spanish outfit.

Mehmet Topal scored the winning goal that sees the La Liga side take a narrow advantage to the Mestalla next Thursday after the Turkish midfielder blasted the ball from distance straight into Asmir Begovic’s top-corner.

Substitute Whitehead complained after the final whistle about tackles made from Costa that he believed could have broken his leg and suggested that the Argentine should have been dealt with accordingly by the referee, an opinion his manager agrees with.

Pulis told ESPN: “They’re very bad challenges. We’ve been caught a few times in our last couple of games where challenges have been bad and gone over the top of the ball.

"Again the ref has got a great view. The fourth official and linesman were there as well. It’s very disappointing - they’re talking about cleaning things up. It’s knowing the difference between a good tackle and a bad tackle and sometimes were not getting that."

On achieving consistency in refereeing, he added: "I don’t think you can keep knocking the referees all the time. I think you’ve got to be constructive with it.

"But we will be sending a DVD off to Mike Riley and the referees to show them some incidents that we think are appalling challenge that have not been punished. Hopefully Mike can analyze them and take something from it."

The Welshman was also disappointed not to have prevented Topal’s winner, suggesting his players should have been quicker to close down the midfielder.

He admitted: “We’re disappointed we never got to the ball quick enough. It was a goal once he had hit it. You could see it was going into the top corner as soon as it came off his foot. But we should have done better there.

“We had a good couple of changes early on, and they scored a wonder goal that really took the pressure off them. But it’s a great occasion for everybody.”

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