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Whelan eager to stay in Stoke XI

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Glenn Whelan. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILEILE

Glenn Whelan. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILEILE

Glenn Whelan. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILEILE

IRELAND star Glenn Whelan says he is determined to stay in the Stoke City side for the rest of the season having won over manager Mark Hughes.

Whelan, 30, struggled to get into the Stoke side in the early part of the season but in the last four months he has been established in the starting XI and is expected to start once again tomorrow when Stoke face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, for what would be his 11th consecutive Premier League start.

"That's football for you. You go through good form, bad form and get a few knocks and niggles. I'm fortunate to be over that now," said the Dubliner.

"I worked hard to get back in and I'm working even harder to stay in. The lads that we have, we are all trying to push each other on to be the best we can be.

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"I wasn't in the team at the start of the season and the manager told me it was up to myself to get in. I had to give him something to think about. Going in on a Saturday and not playing is the worst feeling as a footballer and it's great to be involved again.

"I've turned it around and hopefully I can stay there."

Whelan has been in the XI for some time now – he was restored to the starting team in the aftermath of Stoke's defeat to Chelsea in January and has been ever-present since, and he's happy with how his season is turning out.

"I've been really pleased with my form this year but I think there have been patches over the last few years when I've been on good form as well," he said.

"Every player goes through dips, it's how you come through them that is important."


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