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Etherington earns Pulis praise

Stoke manager Tony Pulis singled out Matthew Etherington for special praise following his side’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

Etherington’s first-half double against his former club put the hosts into the lead at Britannia Stadium before Emmanuel Adebayor halved the deficit from the penalty spot.

The result saw Tottenham suffer their first defeat in 12 Premier League matches after Harry Redknapp’s side were on the wrong end of some debatable decisions by referee Chris Foy.

But Pulis did not wish to discuss the referee as he reflected on Stoke’s third successive win in the league.

“I’ve just been told that they could have had two penalties and whether or not it was one, I don’t know. But don’t get me involved with referees,” Pulis said.

“Let’s just talk about the game. It was a great game that has fallen our side today by what everybody tells us and we’re delighted by that.”

“I thought Matthew’s work rate was great. Just before we brought him off in the second half you’ll see him in their box when it breaks down … and he gets back on (Kyle) Walker inside him when the ball comes in the box and I think sometimes people don’t recognise how hard some of the people in our team work.”

“I’m really pleased. I think if you look at Tottenham and see what they’ve got with their quality and pace and power in their team, it’s formidable to play against them.”

Meanwhile, Redknapp criticised the match officials for their inability to spot ‘the most blatant handball you’ll ever see’.

“We came away with nothing because there’s two blatant handballs on the line and Adebayor’s two yards onside when the ball’s played to him – that’s how we’ve come away with nothing in the end,” Redknapp said.

“We were poor first half, and I hold my hand up and say we didn’t play well. Second half we battered them and unfortunately a couple of decisions have been completely and utterly wrong. If you watch the TV you’ll see it.”

“Younes Kaboul gets a booking for telling the ref it was a handball. Then he gets another yellow card at the end there for an innocuous challenge, no worse a challenge than a foul.”

Redknapp admitted he could not see the handball offence from the touchline, but after watching highlights on TV, he was incensed that no official saw the incident.

“I wondered how he got it off the line,” he said. “But if you look at Match of the Day tonight, you’ll see the most blatant handball you’ll ever see on the goal line.”

“I never go and talk to referees after games. I accept defeat, I never complain about refereeing decisions, I’ve not done it after 30 years, never. But today, I’m afraid he got some badly wrong.”

“He obviously hasn’t seen them, but when he goes home tonight and sees them, and the linesman, he’ll realise when someone’s a yard onside, how’s he not seen it?”

Redknapp remarked: “What can you do? The referee’s not made mistakes because he meant to, he’s an honest guy, but today I thought he just had a bad day, and so did the linesman who missed Adebayor being two yards onside.”

Sun 11 December, 2011
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