Ryan Shotton targets Norwich City as Stoke City bid to build on win
Ryan Shotton is targeting victory over Norwich City this weekend after helping Stoke end a poor run with three points against Swansea at the weekend.
Four successive Barclays Premier League defeats had left the Potters looking over their shoulders, but they returned to winning ways thanks to goals from Matthew Upson and Peter Crouch in a 2-0 victory.
Norwich visit the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, where another win would put Stoke right back on track ahead of games against Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City, according to Shotton.
The 23-year-old said: 'In the back of our minds we knew these two matches were going to be massive because you've got the big ones coming up. If we can do the same again next week then we're up and running again.
'You can see in the dressing room straight away. The result was a good lift for us, we've just got to carry on and kick on now, that's the important thing.'
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Shotton, who hails from Stoke and is a lifelong Potters fan, has had a breakthrough season and on Sunday was preferred to Jermaine Pennant on the right of midfield, although he is a right-back by trade.
He has a long throw to rival team-mate Rory Delap's and set up the second goal by picking out the head of Crouch, while a second-half cross probably should have been converted by Jon Walters.
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Shotton admitted Stoke deliberately targeted Swansea keeper Gerhard Tremmel, who came in at late notice for his Premier League debut after Michel Vorm was taken ill.
'I think that told,' said Shotton. 'He couldn't come for all the crosses and you have to put him under pressure when you've got a new goalkeeper in that hasn't handled the Brit before.
'We chucked a few throws in during second half that didn't work, but with the first one, you always hope one of them will get on the end of it and the keeper will hesitate or get a lucky ricochet. But this one went clean in off Crouch's head so it was good.'
Shotton was the only Stoke player to start the Swansea game having also featured in last Thursday's Europa League trip to Valencia, where a 1-0 defeat ended their campaign at the last-32 stage.
The Potters have travelled as far afield as Kiev, Tel Aviv and Istanbul and have already played 43 games, but Shotton is confident they can handle the workload.
He said: 'There were enjoyable breaks for us to go to these different countries and it's an experience I'll never forget.
'It does take its toll, but hopefully we'll stay fresh and we'll have the days off that we need.'