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Delap hopes for Walcott's return

Rory Delap and Theo Walcott
Rory Delap was booked for Saturday's challenge on Theo Walcott

Stoke City midfielder Rory Delap has denied claims made by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he intentionally tried to injure Theo Walcott.

Walcott was stretchered off with a shoulder injury following a challenge from Delap during City's 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

But Delap told BBC Radio Stoke: "It was a tired tackle. I was trying to get the ball but he was too quick for me.

"I wish him all the best and I will try and get to see him."

The Gunners boss blasted both Delap and Ryan Shawcross after Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor were injured on Saturday.

Wenger issued the questions himself at a Champions League press conference on Tuesday, asking: "Do you think Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch?"

Meanwhile throw-in specialist Delap has played down the effect he has had on the Potters' run of three wins in their last four games.

City have beaten Spurs, Sunderland and Arsenal in that time - and three of their five goals have come as a result of Delap's much-debated long throws.

"If I throw the ball into the net, it's not a goal," said the 32-year-old midfielder.

"It's one thing me throwing it, it's another for someone to head it. You need someone for the finishing touch."

Much has been made of City's direct style, particularly Delap's long throws, which have resulted in seven of the Potters' 13 Premier League goals.

But the former Republic of Ireland international said the Potters will stick to their strengths, especially if they continue to get positive results.

"We have shown that when when we can play well we can compete with the best sides. We know what we're good at and we will try to keep doing that."

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