Stoke city manager Tony Pulis says that he is upbeat regarding his team’s chances of qualification into the next round of the Europa League, despite the defeat at the hands of Turkish side Besiktas.
Stoke city were defeated 3-1 on the night after Matthew Upson saw a red card midway through the match. Stoke city had taken the unlikeliest of leads through Ricardo Fuller the early on in the first half, but they were unable to preserve the lead when Matthew Upson was sent off after a challenge in the penalty area. Besiktas equalised with the subsequent penalty and they soon got into the lead with a goal about 20 min from the final whistle.
Edu’s goal just before the final whistle gave them a 3-1 lead, which looks extremely commanding, although Tony Pulis suggested that the tie is not over yet. Stoke city rested a number of players from the match against Tottenham, which clearly shows that they are focusing on the Premier League more than anything else. Still, they were able to field a very strong line-up for the match against Besiktas. Tony Pulis had only four substitutes because almost every member of the team that played Tottenham were left back home.
“We’ve finished above [Dynamo] Kiev and we’ve given Besiktas two very good games, especially when it was 11 against 11. Every one of the players who played has done absolutely fantastic for us and even when we went down to 10 men they just kept working and kept going,” Tony Pulis reacted following the defeat, which may leave them in the top position to qualify for the next stage of the Europa League. Mustafa Pektemek scored the goal for Besiktas to give them the lead, while Manuel Fernandes had given them the equaliser from the spot.