Pulis left seething at Safri

Stoke boss Tony Pulis launched a scathing attack on Youssef Safri over the Norwich midfielder's part in Andy Griffin's late Carrow Road dismissal. Referee Taylor brandished a straight red for a wild lunge by the abrasive full-back on City's Moroccan international.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis launched a scathing attack on Youssef Safri over the Norwich midfielder's part in Andy Griffin's late Carrow Road dismissal.

Referee Taylor brandished a straight red for a wild lunge by the abrasive full-back on City's Moroccan international.

A clearly incensed Griffin had to be restrained by Norwich peace maker Andy Hughes following the ugly incident in front of the dugouts.

Pulis backed his player and insisted Stoke will appeal to overturn the decision.


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"I've already seen the ref and asked him to have a look at it," he said. "We don't need things like that happening with our better players. I believe he played the ball. The big thing that disappoints me is the player's reaction.

"I know it's part of the game now, but it's a wrong part. I think it's something the players' union should look at. Safri is rolling on the pitch, then he got up and sprinted to take the next free kick. It was the reaction of their player that prompted the ref to act. It's not just Safri, it's other players as well.

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"I'm old fashioned and the game is about challenges. If you take those away I don't think it would be the game it is. I thought Grif played the ball and as a player you'll always protect yourself."

City counterpart Peter Grant admitted the official had to make a tough split second call.

"I have every sympathy with the referee," he said. "It's difficult because things can happen so quickly that they can look worse than it is. If he hasn't got the ball then it's a straight red, if he's touched it then it's a great tackle.

"I can remember he did a similar tackle at Stoke and Lee Croft was out for six weeks. He took the ball and Crofty that day. He doesn't mess about with his tackling but me, being a tackler, I obviously understand that part - thankfully there is no long term injury to our player."

Pulis insisted his weary squad can regroup and come again with a late play-off charge.

"We looked leggy, tired, running on empty," he said. "I felt we we're lucky to come in

1-0 down at half-time because they deserved to be further ahead. But we've got seven games to go and if we can put a run together we'll be fine."

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