Stoke City boss Pulis happy to leave with a point

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis was delighted to escape from Norfolk with a late point to spoil the Canaries' Premier League homecoming party.

Kenwyne Jones headed past John Ruddy from close range in stoppage time to cancel out Ritchie De Laet's opener for the hosts, but Pulis believes Paul Lambert's men will be more than a match on home turf.

'We were a little bit flat, but you've got to give credit to Norwich – I thought they did smashing,' said the 53-year-old, whose side also took a point off title hopefuls Chelsea last weekend.

'They have got good players and they get the ball forward to (Grant) Holt. He causes problems – they will cause a lot of teams problems this year, especially here. We always knew this was going to be a difficult game for us coming back. We are on a new journey at this football club in terms of European football.'

Pulis admitted his side were fortunate in gaining the penalty that saw Leon Barnett sent off for a foul on Jon Walters – after the initial contact occurred just outside the Norwich penalty box.


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Ruddy guessed correctly to thwart the former Ipswich Town striker, but City still had to play more than 30 minutes with 10 men. Pulis felt justice had been served after former Stoke defender de Laet appeared to catch Walters with a high challenge inside the opening minutes.

'We were disappointed that we never got a penalty in the first-half. I've just watched it on the television and I think Ritchie De Laet's challenge on Jon Walters is a poor challenge,' said Pulis.

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'The referee was there and we were really disappointed with that decision.

'In the second half we created three or four great chances before the lad was sent off and then it was just a case of banging on the door and hoping it would open.

'I haven't seen it (the penalty incident) yet, but they have told me it was outside. Whether the referee has looked on it different because of the first half incident I don't know. It's very difficult – the linesman is there and the linesman should help. If we have been fortuitous in that then the keeper has made up for it with a great save.'

Pulis admitted his side are still coming to terms with the rigours of European football after ending a gruelling week which began with a goalless draw against title challengers Chelsea and included a midweek excursion to Switzerland for a successful Europa League play-off tie against FC Thun.

'Travelling away and having to deal with that, coming back to play Sundays and then we've got to play Thursday again – it's a completely different way of running a football team in the respect of preparing for games,' he said.

'It's something we have to learn as we go along. We're unbeaten in three games. Chelsea are always difficult – we got a good result against them and played well. In the first half (against Norwich) we knew it was going to be really tough on the back of what we've done in Europe. To get something at the end was pleasing.'

Pulis believes all three promoted clubs can survive this season after his first-hand brush with Lambert's side. Stoke have long been held up as a template after successfully bridging the gap from the Football League.

'We have had our way of doing things and we've stuck very rigidly to building up over three years and they will learn as they go along,' he said.

'I think the three clubs have got very good managers. You look at Paul Lambert, (Neil) Warnock and Brendan (Rodgers) and they have all done fantastic jobs in getting their teams promoted.

'It is a different challenge and a different set of rules. It is not a level playing field. You learn very quickly and you have to take things on board. As soon as the early fixtures and I saw the games we had to face then I would have much preferred it the other way around.'

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