Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday October 16 2009
After the disappointment of a poor display against Man United three weeks ago, Tony Pulis has written a personal letter to all Stoke fans ahead of the match against West Ham tomorrow.
This letter appeared in the Sentinel tonight:
'We never got going against Man United and I think that rubbed off on our supporters.
Everybody last season knew our fans were the 12th man. Now clubs are more prepared for their visit to our territory.
Chelsea and United have picked their strongest teams, and you can bet your life West Ham - who coincidentally did the double over us last season - will also come prepared for battle.
It is my responsibility to ensure that the players raise the bar that little bit further as we strive to stay in the promised land for a second consecutive season.
It is also imperative that you continue to show why everybody in the Premier League were envious of Stoke City`s loyal and trusted home support.
Last season we fought together as one against all the odds. We spent quite a bit of time in the bottom three, but never did we ever stop pulling together.
The second season has proved a disastrous season for many clubs who, after avoiding relegation, took for granted their previous season`s success.
We must prove to people again outside of Stoke-on-Trent that we can maintain not only Premier League football, but also the title of the loudest and proudest fans in the country.
We are now entering a very important run of home fixtures, starting with West Ham.
The renditions of Delilah and When The Reds Go Marching In certainly gives the players an unbelievable lift and makes the stadium a very special place to play in.
We must never forget how hard we have worked to get here and how special this league is, not only to ourselves, but to future generations who we hope will only witness the very best opposition visiting our special home ground.
To do this, we need to be as one.
Last season, when we were up against it, your call to arms cried out like no other ground up and down the country.
No other set of fans could match the sound or the real feeling that you portrayed for your beloved football team.
We desperately need you. You were special last season, you gave us the edge. This season we must work together and put those dreaded 'second season syndrome' stats firmly to bed.
We need you ... you are the difference.'
Date:Friday October 16 2009
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