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Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

Lawrence delight at fitness boost

Liam Lawrence
Lawrence has made eight Premier League appearances for Stoke.

Stoke City midfielder Liam Lawrence is delighted to be back playing in the club's Premier League survival fight.

Saturday's 2-2 draw with Portsmouth was Lawrence's first top-flight start since injuring his ankle in September.

Last season's player-of-the-year told BBC Radio Stoke: "Just to be back out their and playing again is what I've been waiting for for weeks.

"I've been knocking on the door for a few weeks and to finally get the nod was really pleasing."

Despite two goals from James Beattie, the Potters let three points slip away against fellow relegation contenders Portsmouth, after an injury-time own goal from Ryan Shawcross levelled the game.

Beattie's brace took his tally to four goals in five games and Lawrence says the former Blackburn, Southampton, Everton and Sheffield United striker has made quite an impact.

"He's done fantastic, he gets on the end of things and holds the ball up well. I think he'll do well for us."

Lawrence added: "If I'm honest we had to win that game, we needed to catch some ground on Portsmouth and go three points ahead of a couple of other teams."

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see also
Stoke 2-2 Portsmouth
21 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Lawrence expecting good reception
06 Feb 09 |  Football

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