Dynamo Kyiv 1 Stoke City 1: Pulis hails ‘fantastic result’
Tony Pulis was delighted with a point from Stoke City's Europa League opener in Ukraine
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was quick to hail his side’s spirit after their Europa League opener at Dynamo Kyiv – despite having conceded a late equaliser.
The Premier League side were denied victory by Ognjen VukojeviÄ‡, who converted Andriy Yarmolenko’s cross in the 91st minute. Cameron Jerome had given the visitors the lead 10 minutes after the break following excellent work from Ryan Shotton.
Pulis admitted his disappointment over Dynamo’s late goal but was still in buoyant mood after a “fantastic result”.
“We changed the system to suit the players that we have got out here, and in the circumstances I thought we adapted extremely well,” Pulis said.
“It was a massive ask of them to change the way we set up against a side of that quality. But once again it speaks volumes for the character and the spirit of the players, because we keep asking questions of them and they keep coming up with an answer.
“We are obviously pig sick that we conceded such a late goal but that doesn’t take any of the shine off what is an absolutely fantastic result. We were playing against one of the top sides in Europe and we were more than a match for them.”
Pulis was particularly pleased with the defensive performances of Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross and Matthew Upson, who were able to contain former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko.
“We knew they were going to create chances and we knew that we would need a little bit of luck, but we deserved that point for the way we battled, 100 per cent,” Pulis said.
Stoke host Besiktas in their next Europa League clash and Pulis warned his side that they must make the home advantage count in a difficult Group E.
“Tonight’s result doesn’t alter the fact that this is a very tough group for us, but it is certainly not a bad way to start off, especially now we have got three of our next four games at the Britannia Stadium,” said Pulis.
“The fans will have seen what a great performance this was in the toughest of circumstances and hopefully they will now really get behind us as they always do, because if we can do well in our home matches then we have got a great chance of going further in the competition.”