Grieving Tony Pulis drives 140 miles to spur Stoke to victory over Aston Villa
Bereaved Potters boss commutes to give rousing team talk
Stoke manager Tony Pulis travelled 140 miles to give his players a team-talk which helped them to victory over Aston Villa on the day his mother died. Pulis had been in Newport, South Wales, with his family following the bereavement.
It had been announced that assistant manager Dave Kemp would be in charge of the team for the match. But Pulis couldn’t stay away and arrived just in time to give an inspiring team-talk to his players, who were losing 0-1 to Aston Villa at the interval.
Kemp said: “He was in the dressing room for the half-time team-talk and he took the paint off the walls.”
Winger Matthew Etherington also pointed to the impact of the stern half-time appraisal.
He said: “Obviously he wasn’t happy at half-time, he was very disappointed about what was happening.”
And Pulis’ superhero-esque appearance had precisely the desired affect. Stoke scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to secure a 2-1 victory over Villa.
Kemp added: “He has obviously had a very sad day but typically for him he wanted to get straight into it, put his overalls on and get on with his work. That is why he has been a great manager for this football club. He is desperate, with all else he has got going on, to have an impact.
“His appearance gave the players and the fans a boost and I think you saw that.”
Video via 101GG