Last Updated: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 14:13
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has praised his players for their continued hard graft during a "draining" campaign.
The Potters' 1-0 Premier League victory over Norwich on Saturday at the Britannia Stadium was their 44th game this term.
A gruelling season has threatened to unravel recently, with the Staffordshire outfit losing four top-flight fixtures in a row and being eliminated from the Europa League at the first knock-out stage by Valencia.
Stoke have dug in, though, and ground results out again, winning three of their last four matches in all competitions.
The Potters are back in the top half of the table, and Pulis said: "I think what people don't appreciate is that is 44 games we have played now. We got to the last 32 in Europe, we are in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup - we have had a really, really busy season in lots of respects.
"It is the first time this football club has been engaged in such a sequence of games, and we are talking about a top level against top sides, in Europe as well. It is draining, but what the players have done is get their heads down."
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