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Pulis still has confidence in Stoke keeper Begovic

Stoke boss Tony Pulis will not drop keeper Asmir Begovic despite a run of poor form. Begovic was at fault for two of Bolton's goals during the recent 5-0 rout at the Reebok and then conceded six goals during the second leg of Bosnia's Euro 2012 play-off with Portugal.

"I think Asmir is one of the best young goalkeepers in the Premier League and he will have ups and downs," Pulis said.

"I'm looking at the games and the mistakes people are making, and it is not just Asmir who has been making those mistakes - it's the collective group."

Pulis did admit the squad is tired after recent Europa League exertions. He added: "No, not at all.

"Even I felt really tired after the game, and you look at what the lads were set in terms of the three games - a Monday, a Thursday and then a Sunday.

"Even when we're coming back (from Israel), we're coming back to another away game, not coming back and able to rest and then play at home.

"We had to get them up again, get them to another hotel and get them prepared for another away match. It has been tough."

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Dave Williams

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