Pulis praise for Premier culture

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STOKE manager Tony Pulis believes the Premier League brilliantly reflects Britain’s “fantastic” multi-cultural society.

Pulis has been surprised by recent high-profile cases concerning alleged racism within the game after seeing little evidence of prejudice throughout his career.

He said: “I think this country is as good as any country in the world for being multi-racial and the way people have mixed in this country has been absolutely fantastic.

“If you speak to our lads - the black lads who have come in from France - and ask how they get treated and looked after in England, compared maybe even to France, they will say there is a great difference in the way the have been accepted, the way they have been looked after and the way they have been treated.

“There might be isolated incidents and people might do it and not realise they are doing it, but I think generally there is not a better country in the world than our country - the English, the way we mix with every nationality, every colour, every creed.”

Pulis began his managerial career at Bournemouth in 1992 and is now five years into a second spell in charge of Stoke.

The 53-year-old, who has also had stints at Gillingham, Bristol City, Portsmouth and Plymouth, said: “I have been in football for a very long time and I have never known it, in any respect, to be nasty or vindictive - not at any of the clubs I have worked with or in.”

n Sir Alex Ferguson does not expect to see Wigan in the Premier League’s relegation zone in May.

A run of eight successive defeats dumped them to the foot of the table, merely strengthening the theory the Latics were not good enough to stay up.

However, since then, Wigan have improved dramatically.

Ferguson is certain they will eventually ease their way clear of trouble.

“Wigan will stay up,” said Ferguson. “I would not put them as one of my relegation teams. Every year they dig out results no-one would expect of them.’’

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