Tony Pulis bemoans Stoke City schedule ahead of Sheffield Wednesday clash


Tony Pulis isn’t impressed with the Championship fixture lists after taking over at Sheffield Wednesday.

He is preparing his side to take on Stoke City on Saturday after a hard-fought draw at Swansea last night – while Stoke lost 3-2 to Norwich at home on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday were without half-a-dozen players through injury and lost keeper Keiren Westwood to a groin problem in the first half and Massimo Luongo was withdrawn early too.

And Pulis said in his post-match press conference: “Listen, the lads have worked really, really hard. They are a really good group.

“There are lots of things we have to work on and there are lots of things I would like to put in place and we are short in certain areas.

“But when you think that we have got six players out tonight… Windass, Marriott, Flint, Iorfa, Dunkley. Those players would have probably started tonight.

“The players’ who have played tonight have done absolutely fantastically well.

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“We have had two away games (in a row) and it is unfair in some respects and I think it’s something the EFL should look at. Stoke played at 7 o’clock last night and now we have got to travel all the way back and we won’t get back until the early hours Thursday morning and Stoke will have had two extra days than us which I don’t think is fair or right and they should look at it.”

He added: “I don’t know why we are not having home and away. Why could we not have played Stoke tonight at our place and travelled to Swansea on Saturday?

“Why have we got to do Preston and Swansea? I’m not saying it just for us. I am saying it for other clubs; why are they making you travel on a Saturday and then midweek to far off places when you can spin it so it is home and away?”

Wednesday’s first goal of the Pulis era was a corner routine he had used during his time at Stoke, with Adam Reach in the Jon Walters role.

Pulis said: “We have worked hard on set plays but we have got to keep working hard on it.

“When you do things like that and they come off, it is really good and we are really pleased with it.”

Joe Wildsmith, a 24-year-old Wednesday youth team graduate, came on to replace Westwood, having previously impressed under Garry Monk.

Pulis said: “Keiren felt his groin when he kicked the ball. He has only just come back playing. To risk him in two games might have been a little bit of my fault but I do rate him. I think he is a top, top goalkeeper and I want him in my team.

“Wildsmith did smashing. Obviously, the lads has played quite a few games and he has got experience and it looks as though he will play a few more games as well. We’ll see where Keiren is at tomorrow.”





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