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Pulis to seek advice over Wenger's rant

Updated: Thursday, 06 Nov 2008 15:44

Tony Pulis is unhappy with Arsene Wenger's accusations
Tony Pulis is unhappy with Arsene Wenger's accusations

Concerned Stoke manager Tony Pulis will speak to referees' chief Keith Hackett after controversial comments made by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Wenger claimed Ryan Shawcross and Rory Delap deliberately injured Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott when the teams clashed at the Britannia Stadium last weekend.

Pulis has rubbished the Frenchman's remarks but believes there is a chance Stoke could be perceived to be a dirty side, especially in the mind of referees.

'I've left a message for Keith Hackett because I want to speak to him about Arsene's comments and the possible implications,' said Pulis.

'Perception is a massive thing in football and I don't want referees to take any notice of what Arsene has said. What he has come out with is way off the mark.

'We played at Manchester City a couple of weeks ago and didn't get a single booking. Not to get a booking in an away game in the Premier League is no mean feat.

'What we certainly are is competitive but football is about challenge and competitiveness is not a dirty word in this country.

'I'm just going to tell Keith Hackett that I expect referees to act on what they see and not on what they hear.

'Luckily, we've got a very experienced referee in Mike Riley at Wigan on Saturday and I'm confident there will be no problems.'

Stoke centre-back Shawcross, an England under-23 international, also defended himself against Wenger's remarks.

'I don't really want to get dragged into it all, but I'm a fair player and never set out to hurt anyone,' he said. 'I'm a young player learning my trade and what I am concentrating on is playing well and trying to keep my place in the team.

'I lost my place earlier in the season and know I have to play well every week or I will be in serious danger of being left out again.'

Pulis insists he now wants to draw a line under the Wenger furore, although he could not resist one last dig at his Arsenal counterpart.

'For a person of his calibre to say what he did was disappointing, but I also feel he has been very clever,' the Stoke boss added.

'His comments and the reaction they were bound to cause have deflected much of the criticism away from what was a very poor performance by his side.

'He said after the game that we deserved to beat them, and we certainly did.'

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