Pulis backs mis-firing Kitson

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has thrown down the gauntlet to misfiring striker Dave Kitson.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has thrown down the gauntlet to misfiring striker Dave Kitson.

Reports have suggested Kitson has become unsettled just three months after moving from Reading for £5.5m.

He has failed to score net in seven appearances for Stoke to date and has been substituted in each of the last six.

He trooped off without glancing at his manager when he was replaced in City’s last match at Portsmouth, where he squandered a gilt-edged opportunity.

But Pulis said: “It’s very easy to run down mountains, but you need a lot more character and strength to climb up them.

“I’ve had a chat with Dave. He’s an experienced player who has been around the block a few times. He knows the score.”

Pulis added: “Every striker gets down in the dumps if they don’t score and Dave is no different.

“Strikers live off goals and as soon as he gets one I’m sure it will take a weight off his shoulders.

“I don’t care if one goes in off his backside. We all want to see him get up and running.”

Kitson has been given a vote of confidence from fellow striker Mamady Sidibe, who looks set to start alongside him against Tottenham tomorrow.

Sidibe, who is likely to get the nod ahead of Ricardo Fuller who has been on international duty with Jamaica, said: “We’ve all seen Kit’s quality as a finisher in training.

“It’s not easy for him to get used to the way we play and it’s going to take a bit of time. I’m sure he will come good.”

Sidibe has started three and been brought on as a substitute for the other four of City’s Premier League matches, but he insisted: “I’m very happy here.

“I’ve got a manager who believes in me and I need to learn about the Premier League. I’m working very hard and I’ve got a part to play if I start, or if I come off the bench.

“It’s different from the Championship. You get more time on the ball, but your concentration has to be 100% for every second of every game.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox