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Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross defends his playing style

Ryan Shawcross (right) tackles Wolves' Kevin Doyle
Shawcross' (right) form this season has earned him an England call-up

Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross is vowing not to alter his style of play after serving a three-match ban for the tackle which broke Aaron Ramsey's leg.

There has been plenty of support for Shawcross, 22, since he left Arsenal midfielder Ramsey with a double-fracture of his right leg in February.

"It was an accident and these things happen. I'm not going to change the way I play," said the Potters defender.

"If I play on Saturday I will play my normal game as I always have done."

Shawcross received criticism following the challenge on Ramsey in Stoke's 3-1 home defeat on 27 February, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger describing the tackle as "unacceptable".

606: DEBATE
BathStoke

However, the Potters centre-back - who left the field in tears following his dismissal - has stated there was "no malice" and has been defended by team-mates and other figures in the game, including his former boss at Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson.

"Sir Alex rang me after the Carling Cup final, which was good of him, and we had a good chat and that was just something to lift my spirits," revealed Shawcross.

"That is the man he is and he is a fantastic manager and even when you leave he keeps in contact and makes sure you are all right."

Both Shawcross and Stoke manager Tony Pulis contacted Ramsey following the injury and the defender says he has put the incident behind him.

"When you hurt somebody it is not nice," added Shawcross. "But it was unintentional and I've moved on from that. Hopefully Aaron will get back fit soon."

Ramsey underwent surgery to fix fractures to the tibia and fibula in his right leg soon after the match at the Britannia Stadium.

Ryan has been going into tackles in training and he's been fine, he's been bombing around and doing extra work. It won't make any difference to him and I'm delighted to have him back

Stoke boss Tony Pulis

There is as yet no timeline set for the 19-year-old Welsh international's return but he has vowed to come back "fitter and stronger".

Shawcross, who was an unused substitute for England's 3-1 international friendly victory over Egypt at Wembley on 3 March, has a minor ankle injury which may curtail his involvement against Tottenham.

But if he is fit Pulis says he has no qualms about putting him straight back in the side.

"I think everyone who has seen the incident, apart from maybe one person [Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger], recognises it was an accident," the Stoke boss said.

"Ryan has been going into tackles in training and he's been fine, he's been bombing around and doing extra work.

"It won't make any difference to him and I'm delighted to have him back.

"He is a very level-headed kid. He's been captain of this team this season and, at that age, I think that shows he has good character."



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