Stoke City must show character after Villa loss - Tony Pulis

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has urged his side show their "character" as they try to secure Premier League survival.

The Potters lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa on Saturday and are now just four points off the bottom three with one win in 13 games.

"The character now is very important," said Pulis.

Stoke's remaining games

  • 14 April: Man Utd (h)
  • 20 April: QPR (a)
  • 27 April: Norwich (h)
  • 4 May: Sunderland (a)
  • 12 May: Tottenham (h)
  • 19 May: Southampton (a)

"It is important we stay in the Premier League. We have six games to go and we need a point a game. It is important the lads stay confident."

He added: "We have Manchester United, Tottenham, Norwich at home and then tough games away from home too.

"We have played well away so it is a good test for everyone at the football club now."

Stoke fell behind to an early Gabriel Agbonlahor goal against Villa and though they equalised through Michael Kightly in the second half, a spectacular Matthew Lowton strike and a Christian Benteke effort secured Villa's victory. Defeat leaves Stoke with just one win from their last seven league games at the Britannia Stadium.

"When we scored, it gave everyone a lift and we thought maybe we could go and win the game," said Pulis.

Lambert hails Lowton strike

"But then Lowton smashes one in and the third goal is us getting caught on the break."

Villa, who are three points off the relegation zone, have won three of their last four games and manager Paul Lambert says his side have the momentum to avoid relegation.

"The win was thoroughly deserved," he said. "We looked terrific from the off. I thought we defended really strongly and football-wise I thought we were excellent. Every time we went forward I thought we looked threatening.

"I don't think you will see a better goal in Europe [or] anywhere else than Matt Lowton's. The technique, chest control and volley was outstanding. He has played every minute of every game in the league and he has been outstanding.

"Even at 1-1, I thought we still looked threatening and I am proud of the way we kept going.

"We are playing well. There is a lot of momentum and collectively the players are doing fantastically."