Date: 4th May 2008 at 8:11pm
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Stoke City’s victorious manager, Tony Pulis has paid tribute to the backing he received from Stoke chairman, Peter Coates.

Pulis admitted that he did wonder if it would be a good move when he got the first call: ‘But if Peter had the nerve to come back and take this club forward I couldn’t say ‘no’.

‘Last time I was here I got criticised on a budget that was a bottom-three budget and there was no way I was going to come back unless he gave me a chance to compete.

‘He said I would be able to compete and he has kept his word. Everything he said and promised he has been true to.

Pulis returned to the Brit two years ago in the wake of Peter Coates’ buy-back of the club from the Icelandic consortium. With both men having ‘previous’ with the club, it was not surprising that the move was met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm from a sizable number of fans.

But Peter Coates was true to his word when he told fans that he would back the manager with support and money and the manager promised that he would create a team that would challenge for promotion within three years.

Well, just two years in and both men have lived up to their words and both can celebrate being behind the greatest achievement for Stoke City in a generation.