Lawrence braced for Stoke exit

The Republic of Ireland international started only 14 games in the

2009/10 season and found himself behind Dean Whitehead and Rory

Delap in the pecking order. Lawrence, 28, told the Sentinel: “I

don’t want to leave Stoke but it is becoming increasingly difficult

with other players playing in my position. “I have nothing but

respect for (manager) Tony Pulis and have never fallen out with him

in three and a half years at the club. “But, purely for footballing

reasons, it is time to move on. That is best for both parties. “The

team has done well whether I have played or not, so I am not going

to moan and say I should be playing. But I am not a player who is

happy to sit on the bench and just pick my wages up. “I have agreed

with the manager that this is the right thing to do. He told me he

didn’t want me to go but he understood where I was coming from.”

Lawrence joined Stoke for £500,000 from Sunderland in January

2007 and played a major role in their promotion to the Premier

League the following summer. He signed a new four-year deal at the

Britannia Stadium last summer but things have not worked out how he

had hoped. Lawrence has been linked with a move to Wolves, which

would see him reunited with Mick McCarthy, his former boss at

Sunderland. He continued: “I am aware of interest from clubs and

hope I can stay in the Premier League but I won’t be doing anything

without Stoke knowing.”