Begovic denies going on strike

Potters boss Tony Pulis claimed that the Bosnian stopper refused to

play in last week’s Carling Cup tie against Shrewsbury as rumours

of interest from Barclays Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and

Manchester City gathered pace. Pulis signed Begovic from Portsmouth

last season in an attempt to provide Thomas Sorensen with

competition for the number one jersey at the Britannia Stadium. The

23-year-old has only made three starts for Stoke since though and

is frustrated at not being able to dislodge Sorensen as Pulis’

first choice. Stoke chairman Peter Coates revealed that the club

had rejected a bid from Chelsea for Begovic, but the former Pompey

goalkeeper denies that he tried to force through a move to the

Premier League champions by refusing to play. “I never refused to

play. I’d never do such a thing to turn down a chance to play a

first-team game,” Begovic told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I was aware that

there was a bid made and he (Pulis) said it was being considered.

“We spoke about it, it was a private conversation and for it to get

out publicly was a little bit disappointing. “I tried to see him

before the team meeting but he refused to see me and then he named

the team. “We spoke about the situation and as far as he was

concerned he understood the position I was in and he didn’t have

any problems with me not playing at the time and I thought that was

the end of the story but I would never go on strike. That’s an

absolutely disgraceful accusation for people to make.”