Pulis gives Walters his backing
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes Jon Walters deserves a lot of credit for having the bottle to take penalties despite his recent misses.
Pulis has confirmed publicly yet whether Walters will take City's next spot-kick, but he isn't about to have a go at him either for failing to convert with his last two efforts.
Last Saturday, the Republic of Ireland international saw his penalty saved by Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in the Potters' 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage, while in January he hit the bar on a day to forget for him as Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners, with Walters twice putting through his own net.
The 29-year-old's wholehearted approach for the team on a regular basis has certainly won him a lot of friends at the Britannia Stadium over the last couple of years and for that reason Pulis won't call into question his character ahead tomorrow's visit of West Ham.
Asked if he thought Walters should retain spot-kick duties, Pulis said: "People have asked me that, and people say 'we would get him to take it, or we would get him to take it'.
"That's all fine, but do those players really want to take it when the game is going on?
"Jon picked that ball up (in the Fulham match) and there was no doubt about it - he wanted to take the penalty.
"He missed it, and as I have said before, people do things in life sometimes that are not right, or do not go the way they or you want them to go. But that is life, and you have to get on with it.
"You have to make sure you back the players who are prepared to do it.
"If we get a penalty on Saturday and Jon picks the ball up and wants to take it - and there is nine or 10 others who don't - then let Jon take it."