Brek Shea says that he is glad to be back playing again after being sidelined for four months with a foot injury.
The American winger was signed for 2.5 million pounds from FC Dallas in January and was handed his Potters debut after only 24 minutes of Saturday's 1-0 defeat away to Fulham when Matthew Etherington had to depart after suffering a back problem.
"It's been a long time out and I'm glad to be back," Shea told reporters. "It wasn't the way I wanted to play, or the team, but hopefully we can get better."
Shea looked rusty after such a lengthy time away from first-team football, as well as Saturday being his first proper taste of the Premier League, but his efforts almost earned Stoke an equalizer when his cross was handled in the penalty area by Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah. Unfortunately for Shea and Stoke, Jonathan Walters' 55th minute spot kick was saved by Mark Schwarzer.
"I'm not 100 percent, but I'm getting better and I'm almost there," he continued. "I just have to keep playing and get back into it.
"I don't think I played very well, but it's good to get a taste. Every team has their own style and the league here is faster so you just have to get used to it."
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- Matthew Etherington