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Stoke bounce back

Burnley
0 - 1
Stoke City

Turf Moor

23/01/07 7.45pm

Attendance: 12,109

Referee:

Snow and freezing temperatures did not prevent over 1,200 intrepid Stoke fans from journeying up the M6 to Lancashire for the second time in three days and the journey back proved far more enjoyable than Saturday's trip to Preston.

Yet another goal from Mamady Sidibe secured all three points for the Potters and moved them back into the play-off positions. Manager Tony Pulis praised his team after the game for their fighting spirit as they overcame the disappointment of a last minute sucker punch in the 3-2 defeat on Saturday. He told journalists after the game: 'It was a fantastic test of character and one we came through superbly'.

He also revealed how he motiviated the team before the game. He invited Salif Diao into the dressing room and the Liverpool midfielder now seems destined for a second loan spell at the Brit: 'It gave all the lads a lift, I think, especially as many of them have been texting and badgering him to come back.'

Ricardo Fuller was drafted back into the front line for the game alongside Sidibe, but other than that it was the same side than played at Deepdale on Saturday.

Burnley fielded their new signing, Ade Akinbiyi alongside three other former Potters, Noel Williams, O'Connor and Thomas led by one time Stoke manager, Steve Cotterill, so any win against Burnley always has added significance for Stoke fans.

Steve Simonsen also came through the match with credit, after criticism had been aimed at him for two of Preston's goals, with some great saves particularly in the dying minutes of the game when the Clarets fought back to try and rescue a point.

Star Player

Ricardo Fuller attracted praise from the Clarets' boss after the match, referring to Fuller's performance Cotterill said: 'Maybe if Ade Akinbiyi had been that sharp he could have made the difference, but it looks as though he's spent the last 12 months in the gym.'

Just a shame Mr Cotterill has just spent £750,000 buying him back from Sheffield United then....


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Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
Time: 11:12PM

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2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
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