Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits he took Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's criticism of his team as a compliment.

Gerrard had provoked controversy after last weekend's Merseyside derby by comparing Everton's style of play to Stoke's.

The England star later retracted the comments and apologised to both clubs for his attack.

However, Pulis, who celebrated 10 years in charge of Stoke this week, welcomed the comparison with Everton, who are riding high in fifth spot in the table.

"Actually I thought it was a compliment! I know Steven has apologised for what he's said but I actually took it as a compliment that Everton play like Stoke," he said.

"Everton have done fantastic this season and are a good side."

Pulis added: "I've got a great respect for Gerrard. He's a great advert for English football.

"Was I surprised? No. People know me by now and I don't give a flying...

"I don't take the criticism to heart, if it could even be classed as criticism."