Mike Pejic says Stoke City need bigger squad to improve

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis led Stoke City to their first ever FA Cup final in May

Former Stoke City defender Mike Pejic believes manager Tony Pulis needs to increase the size of his squad to help the club improve further next season.

The Potters are preparing for their fourth consecutive year in the Premier League and will also be competing in Europe for the first time in 37 years.

"He couldn't put out his full-strength side in the last few games because of injuries," Pejic told BBC Radio Stoke.

"He needs to strengthen, especially with them now being in Europe as well."

Stoke finished 13th in the top flight last season, having been in the top half of the table for the latter part of the campaign.

They also reached their first ever FA Cup final, and despite losing 1-0 to Manchester City at Wembley, secured qualification for the Europa League.

The Potters will enter the competition at the third qualifying round stage at the end of July.

While Pejic, 61, acknowledges that new faces are needed, he also says Pulis should keep faith with the players that have taken Stoke into Europe for the first time since the 1974/5 season.

"The lads that he's got at the moment have done an excellent job," added Pejic, who was part of the Stoke squad that won the League Cup in 1972 and also won four caps for England.

"The ones that come in are going to have to fight for their places.

"Tony likes those hard-working, enthusiastic and honest players and that's taken Stoke a long way."

Stoke had a joint-bid of around £10m for Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome rejected by Birmingham City last month.

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