Date: 17th January 2008 at 11:04am
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A shocked Stoke boss Tony Pulis admitted that the revived Magpies he faced last night were just a class above his side last night. Speaking in the wake of the 4-1 loss he said:

‘They were a level above us. Too many of our players weren’t on it. You can carry one or two, not seven or eight. Goals change games and we gave two poor ones away in the first half. They have some outstanding players, going forward especially, and when you are left chasing the game they can just pick you off. If you are not passing the ball and are not on your game, which we weren’t, then a Premier League club will do that to you. It was a poor game and there are no excuses.

I’m pleased Liam (Lawrence) scored a great goal, showing great technique. It was one for our fans and gave them something to savour. We got carried away with the sending off and let them score a poor second from our point of view with a free header from the corner. We’d started the game brightly and had a couple of great opportunities in the first 10 minutes. I’d put Jon Parkin in to give it a go against their defence. But they scored first when we didn’t deal with a ball to the back post – and then Michael Owen did what he does best.’