Coates feels that the arrival of players such as Marc Muniesa, Bojan Krkic, Moha El Ouriachi and Ibrahim Afellay has changed the image of the Potters, who were once called the rugby team of the Premier League.
Coates pointed out the transition to The Express: "Clearly the perception of Stoke has changed. You get stereotyped - not that it ever bothered me.
"So many times I heard pundits saying, 'you know what you're going to get at Stoke'. It was as if teams were going into the dark ages!"