Stoke boss Tony Pulis calls Ricardo Fuller conduct 'ridiculous'

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has publicly criticised his striker Ricardo Fuller for the "ridiculous" stamp on Branislav Ivanovic which led to his dismissal.

Fuller lashed out at the Chelsea defender during Stoke's 1-0 defeat at Chelsea - an incident that Pulis said "killed" his side's hopes of a result.

"Ric's been a great player for us, but what he's done is a ridiculous reaction," Pulis said.

"He's got a short fuse and we'll deal with it in-house."

Pulis was adamant that had Fuller remained on the pitch, Stoke could have got a positive result at Stamford Bridge.

"It's difficult enough to go to Chelsea with 11 men, but it made a tough job for us even more difficult," he added. "I think Ivanovic clipped Ric as he was running into the box but, irrespective, it's a poor reaction."

Chelsea were dominant and should have won by a wider margin, but were denied by the woodwork on three occasions in Roberto di Matteo's first Premier League game in charge.

"They've got good players irrespective of what's going on behind the scenes. You look at their bench and Torres has not even come on today," said Pulis.

"They're top players, in a top side, at a top club. For us to come here is always difficult, but with 10 men it was a hard call for us. All in all, we're a little bit disappointed to have a man sent off in such a ridiculous manner.

"Chelsea got edgy in the last 15 minutes and if we had 11 players on the pitch it may have been different - that incident killed us."

Pulis also commended the work of Di Matteo's predecessor, claiming he deserved more time to make an impression.

"I thought Andre Villas-Boas was a good young manager," said the Stoke boss. "He had proven himself in Portugal and needed time to show he could put together a younger team that could have driven forward."

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