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Stoke chairman Coates: Cash available to Pulis for January signings

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says money is available for manager Tony Pulis to strengthen his squad in January.

At the club's AGM yesterday, Coates said: "I think one of the difficulties all promoted clubs have when they move from the Championship is the perception they will just come down again.

"Because I'm interested in statistics, I can tell you that 50 per cent of them have gone down over the Premier League's existence.

"That's the problem. The media and the bookmakers all say those are the ones who will get relegated. When there's a 50-50 chance, you can understand why they come to that conclusion.

"Another factor is it will be tougher playing in a promoted side. You have to be prepared to work hard, battle and tough it out more. Not every player likes that sort of environment.

"I think we did ok and brought some good players in.

"You don't want people coming here thinking they are doing you a favour. They are the last players you want.

"One of the things Tony Pulis is obsessed with is trying to find out the kind of person they are.

"He makes about half a million phone calls and is very thorough."

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