Stoke chairman bans players from talking about former boss Pulis

Following Kenwyne Jones' recent remarks to the media, where he branded the 55-year-old's style as "sky football", the Potters' squad have been banned from discussing the Welshman
Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has banned his players from speaking about former manager Tony Pulis in the media.

Comments from some members of the Potters dressing room, namely Kenwyne Jones, who described the club's style under the 55-year-old as "sky football", have caused rifts amongst the squad.

But Coates has stepped in to ban the press from questioning players about the former Stoke boss, with the Potters chief keen to preserve both squad harmony and Pulis' reputation.

"We had seven very good years with Tony Pulis as manager and we are pleased with what he did for this football club," Coates told The Sentinel.

"We do not think it is right for journalists to ask individual players for their views on a previous manager, and would say the same about any manager.

"But particularly one who spent a long time at the club and did very well.

"It is not fair on Tony to be rubbished, or for [current manager] Mark Hughes to have the past talked about."

Jones' comments are reported to have caused disagreements amongst the Stoke camp, though skipper Ryan Shawcross played down the suggestions, and Coates was keen not to attach blame to the Trinidad and Tobago international.

"No, we are not blaming Kenwyne, we are not criticising Kenwyne, nor the journalists either," he added.

"We are just making clear what we want done in future, there is no issue with any journalists. What we want to do now is concentrate on winning football matches and pleasing our supporters."