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Struggling Stoke City look for unity ahead of relegation scrap

Updated: Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 15:58 | Comments

Tony Pulis's side have won just one game in 14 league outings
Tony Pulis's side have won just one game in 14 league outings

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has issued a "call to arms" in an attempt to arrest the Potters' alarming dip in form.

Pulis' side have slipped into relegation trouble at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League after winning just one of their last 14 games.

They find themselves just three points above the bottom three ahead of this weekend's trip to the apparently doomed QPR, one of just five remaining games.

It is an unfamiliar position for the club having known little but progress since Pulis took over in 2006, winning promotion, reaching an FA Cup final and enjoying a European campaign.

Stoke have 34 points and Pulis believes the figure typically associated with safety, 40, will again be enough.

He said: "We have got five games, five throws of the dice to get the six points we need.

"There are 15 points there, so that is what we have got to do and stay focused and positive.

"We need everybody around, it is a call to arms for everybody in Stoke-on-Trent.

"This is when we need everybody to stick together and I think the majority of supporters understand we need their help."

Fans have made their displeasure at the Potters' nosedive evident in recent weeks with booing during matches and Pulis himself coming under fire.

Pulis has not let that affect his determination to prolong his side's five-year stay in the top flight.

He said: "There might be a small portion of supporters that have done that but it is not the majority.

"We have been having a difficult run and minorities get a lot of publicity in this country.

"The majority of supporters have been brilliant. They understand we are in a battle, a scrap, and they are right behind the team.

"We need as many points as we can get. If we lose the next three games and win the last two we will get 40 points - that keeps you up.

"But we have got to get as many points as we can from those five games."

There is little doubt where Stoke's major weakness lies having scored just 28 goals all the season, the lowest in the Premier League.

Of those only nine have come away from home and Pulis' men have found the net just twice in their last seven games.

Pulis said: "We have needed to score more goals, even when we were doing well we needed to score more goals.

"But the players have trained really well and look really bright.

"We have got to keep them bright and positive. When you get in a run like this a lot of negativity surrounds football and we understand that.

"It is important you try to keep them away from that, keep them focused and positive.

"We need a break, we need to turn it around and we have to stick together."

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