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Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Shawcross out to silence critics

Ryan Shawcross
Shawcross joined Stoke from Manchester United in January 2008

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has said he is starting to show that he is good enough to play in the top flight.

His performance in Stoke's opening game of the season, a 3-1 defeat at Bolton, led some pundits to question his ability against the best teams.

Shawcross told BBC Radio Stoke: "I had a poor game at Bolton and a few people wrote me off but I've come back strong.

"Now I just want to stay in the team, that means performing well every week and hopefully I can keep doing that."

After a nightmare showing at the Reebok Stadium, Shawcross had to wait almost two months before returning to the first team and making his second Premier League appearance, against Tottenham in October.

The former Manchester United trainee added: "If I play well, I stay in the team. If I don't, then I'll work hard in training to force my way back in."

After scoring seven goals for the Potters last season, Shawcross is yet to find the net in 19 appearances this campaign.

"I had a few chances against Manchester City and I should have scored," said the 21-year-old.

"I need to get rid of this goal drought because I haven't scored for a bit and hopefully I can do that next weekend against Sunderland."

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