Stoke City boss Tony Pulis insists he never panicked over their relegation flirtation.

Stoke picked up only five points from their first 13 games in 2013 and relegation appeared a distinct possibility, but Pulis remained calm amid the criticism.

He said: "The biggest thing was to manage the players. While everything's crumbling around you, you have to make sure they stay nice and solid.

"That's the important thing about management, it's not just doing it when things are going well. When things are not going well that's really when you come to the fore. You have to steady everybody and invigorate them and make sure they've got the confidence to push on."