We want everyone singing from the same hymn sheet

Last updated : 25 November 2007 By Tony Scholes
I have to say I was somewhat surprised to hear that Tony Pulis was happy enough with his team's performance. Yes they came away with a point, but they were fortunate too and but for goalkeeper Steve Simonsen they would have been heading back to the Potteries with a defeat.

But Pulis was happy and said after the game: "It was a very difficult game for us to come here when they have got a new manager in charge. Their players were up for it and I thought we did very well because they didn't have any chances.

"The weather and conditions were both extremely poor but the effort our lads put in was absolutely first class. We were without Ricardo Fuller and Liam Lawrence and they have got a lot of quality. We definitely missed them, but I'm not taking anything away from how the other lads did today.

"We've been to Scunthorpe and Palace recently and scored three goals, and now we have a clean sheet on our travels. We just need to get the balance right now, because when we do that we should have no problems at all. It is not like my side to concede so many goals, so today was very good."

It was Owen Coyle's first game in charge of the Clarets and he admitted there were a lot of positives to be taken from the game. "I thought from start to finish we were terrific. The effort and application the lads game me was terrific and some of the quality of football was great.

"I think we know Stoke are a big, strong physical side who cause problems for every team they play, but their keeper has made a couple of big saves.

"We went about the game in the right way and on another day we would have won the game. I couldn't have asked for any more, bar hitting the back of the net. They rode their luck and they know they have been in a very hard game."

Coyle said he wanted it to be difficult for teams coming to the Turf. "I want people coming to play Burnley knowing they are in for a torrid afternoon, and we showed that," he said. "We have things to work on and we are not the finished article, but I thought we showed a lot of positives and we are here to entertain.

"That should have culminated in us winning the match. We had a nice shape to the team and I think any Burnley fan going home would think the players gave every ounce of effort."

The new manager confirmed that he had taken the advise of Steve Davis ahead of the game along with Terry Pashley who has been working with the first team. "I met the players on Friday and tried to get across what I am about and how I want us to play, and I think you saw a sample of that today.

"I told the players nobody will be pre-judged, only on their merits. Joey Gudjonsson was terrific in training on Friday and that was the reason for the decision to bring him onto the bench and into the game.

"I have to say I leaned on Steve Davis heavily. He has a big, big role to play at this football club and I could tell that early on when we got on like a house on fire. All the staff have made me very welcome and they are very knowledgeable.

"We want this to be everyone singing from the same hymn sheet and I thank them for their help before and during this game. Now we will look to take that on. Watford and Charlton is a baptism of fire, but you wouldn't want it any other way.

He had a final word for the fans and the reception he received. "I was delighted with the reception. I was humbled by it, but that is the driving force for me to make sure I don't let those fans down."