Shawcross seeks added consistency

BY foxsports • September 20, 2010

The Potters, who host Fulham in the third round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday, have made a mixed start to the 2010-11 campaign and are so far yet to keep a clean sheet. Shawcross was involved in the failed attempt to clear a free-kick which led to West Ham's goal in the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, and the 22-year-old insists it is time he and his defensive colleagues showed some improvement. "I'm never happy - I want to be playing better every week," Shawcross said. "At the moment, it is just about getting consistent and hopefully we can get a few more clean sheets. "You could say we're not performing very well because we haven't got a clean sheet yet." Shawcross' performances last season earned him a call-up to Fabio Capello's England squad, a standard he is striving to reach once more. "I want to get back in the England squad and I think everyone knows it," Shawcross said. "But I've got to show on the pitch that I'm good enough, so I need to start doing that." Potters assistant manager Dave Kemp expressed his disappointment with the West Ham goal, which he likened to another the team had let in on the way to a 2-1 defeat against Tottenham last month. "The goal we conceded against West Ham was very similar to the first one against Tottenham," said Kemp. "We had the ball, we kicked it against someone and it ends up in the back of our net. That has happened twice now and that is not usual. "We are disappointed with that. The defending wasn't good leading up to it but we got the ball back and still ended up conceding a goal, which was very disappointing." A further source of frustration for Kemp - who has been handling media duties over the last few days since the death of manager Tony Pulis' mother - were the injury-enforced substitutions of Jermaine Pennant, Kenwyne Jones and Jon Walters, all of whom could now miss the match against the Cottagers. "We hoped to get through the game with everyone fresh and ready to go," Kemp said. "But now we have picked the injuries up and we will have to have a rethink and see where we are at." Stoke were knocked out in the fourth round of the Carling Cup last season and Shawcross is looking for a decent run this time out. "It's a game that we are all looking forward to," he said. "We want to do well in the cups this year - it is something the club needs to strive for. If the gaffer puts out a strong team, I'm sure we will be fine. "Everyone wants to get to cup finals and we are no different. Hopefully we can get the win against Fulham and push on."

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