Tony Pulis 'disappointed' after leaving Stoke City

Tony Pulis

Former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis says he is "disappointed" to leave the Potters but has "accepted" chairman Peter Coates's decision to take the club in a different direction.

The 55-year-old by mutual consent on Tuesday after seven successive years in charge.

"I am proud of what we have achieved in a wonderful adventure," Pulis said.

"I understand the board feels a need to take the club in a different direction."

Pulis was appointed as manager at the Britannia Stadium for a second time in 2006, and two years later he guided the club to the top flight after a 23-year absence.

Stoke, who finished last season 13th, never finished lower than 14th in five top-flight campaigns under Pulis, winning 122 out of 333 games.

"I have enjoyed some wonderful times at Stoke City and nobody was prouder than me when, after 23 years of exile from top-flight football, we gained Premier League status," said the Welshman.

"Over the past five years we have created history by being the only team in this club's 150 years existence to remain out of the bottom six in top-flight football for five consecutive seasons.

"Within our five-year period in the Premier League we have featured in four major cup quarter-finals, an FA Cup semi-final and final. Peter, his family and I have enjoyed every inch of the journey; he has been truly a fantastic man to work with."

Pulis suffered some criticism from Stoke supporters towards the end of the season as Stoke struggled at the wrong end of the table following a run of four league wins in 23 league matches after 1 December, 2012.

However, chairman Coates says the two part on good terms.

"Tony rejoined the club as manager in June 2006 when we were in the Championship," he said. "Since then we have achieved so much including promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.

"The last seven years have been some of the best in our long history and I would like to thank Tony for his huge contribution in this. I personally regard him as a great friend and will hugely miss working with him."

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