Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has spoken of his pride at Welsh clubs doing well in the English Premier League this season.
But he will be putting his sentiment to one side when Stoke face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Stoke are looking to do the double over Swansea this season, and the Welshman is eager for his side to build momentum.
“As a Welshman, it’s wonderful to see the four clubs doing so well and it could turn out to be a fantastic season,” Pulis told the club’s website.
“As well as Swansea’s success, it would be lovely to see Cardiff get into the Premier League, so that we have two Welsh clubs at that level. On top of that, Newport and Wrexham have a great chance of getting back into the League.
“First and foremost though, as manager of this football club, my focus is on us getting a result in this game, which we know will be very tough.
“Swansea have done absolutely fantastic this season. I think when Brendan Rodgers left, a lot of people thought they would implode.
“Michael Laudrup has done a fabulous job and really taken them to another level. The great thing for Swansea is that it is the fourth consecutive manager who has kept them moving forwards. You can go right back to when Kenny Jackett was there.
“People forget about the impact he made, but he really set the ball rolling and then Roberto Martinez and Brendan gave it more momentum.”
Pulis is hopeful his decision to take his side to south Wales late on Thursday will have a positive impact, given the poor weather engulfing the country.
“With all the bad weather that was forecast, we didn’t want the players spending six or seven hours travelling down on the Friday,” he said.
“We’ve had a tough period in terms of matches, so there is a good deal of emphasis on rest and recuperation at the moment rather than intensive training, so hopefully the fact that we have made the early trip will work in our favour.”
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