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Pulis slams Walters critics and insists shirt is safe

TONY Pulis has said he will not bow to pressure to drop Ireland striker Jonathan Walters (right) today.

Walters looks set to start his 62nd consecutive Premier League game for Stoke -- a record among current outfield players in the top flight -- after appearing to win a vote of confidence from Pulis ahead of the QPR game.

"In sport you have to accept you are going to get criticism," he said in response to suggestions that fans are against the continued selection of Walters after just one league goal in open play in nearly 12 months.

"If Jon is not scoring goals then he will get criticism, but he's tough enough and he understands the game. I think the majority of supporters love Jon, but there will always be that group who know better."

Walters, Michael Kightly and Matthew Etherington appear to be battling it out for the two wide places. Whoever plays, Walters says the players know they have to get forward more.

"We can do better going forward and we are working on that," he said.

Walters has netted once in the league this season, but added judging him on goals alone was a little unfair.