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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 10:22 UK

Shawcross grateful for Faye input

Abdoulaye Faye and Ryan Shawcross
Faye (left) has had a positive influence on team-mate Shawcross

Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross says playing alongside Abdoulaye Faye has helped him improve his game.

Shawcross, 21, has formed a strong defensive partnership with the Senegal international since the start of 2009.

He told BBC Radio Stoke: "He has been different class and he has probably been our best player this season.

"It has shown in my own performances - I have matured and that is down to Abdoulaye. I owe him a lot because he is always talking me through the game."

Faye, who signed from Newcastle for £2.25m in August 2008, scored his third goal of the season against the Magpies in their 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The 31-year-old has made 30 Premier League appearances since joining the Potters.

Stoke are six points clear of the relegation zone with six matches left to play, starting with a home match against fellow strugglers Blackburn on Saturday.

Shawcross added: "It will be aim to get three points, and hopefully with the crowd behind us that's what we'll do."

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