Shawcross ready for Crouch test

23 October 2009 11:51
Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross believes he will be able to cope with the aerial threat of Peter Crouch when the Potters play Tottenham on Saturday.Shawcross, at 6ft 5in, is just two inches shorter than Crouch. "We dealt with him quite well when he played against us for Portsmouth," Shawcross told BBC Radio Stoke. "You don't want to get into an aerial battle with him. People are surprised with how good he is with his feet, but I'm sure we can deal with him." Shawcross is the tallest defender in the Stoke squad and he will be given the task of marking Crouch, who has netted five times since his move to White Hart Lane in July. Crouch will replace Jermain Defoe, who will miss the next three matches after being sent off in Spurs' 2-1 win at Portsmouth on 17 October. "All of the top teams have four or five options in every position and it's the same at Tottenham," added Shawcross. "Defoe being out is a plus for us, but then they've got Crouch, Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko to bring in. "All of them are top strikers and they give us all different problems." Shawcross is in talks about extending his contract at the Britannia Stadium and he is hopeful of signing a new deal in the near future. "These contracts take time, and it's a big one for me because it will take me to the age of about 26," he said. "The main thing is that I'm happy here, and there's not rush to get it done." Meanwhile, Stoke have handed a trial to Austin Aztex defender Kieron Barnard. Barnard, 24, has represented Jamaica at Under-23 level and will train with the squad for two weeks. He impressed manager Tony Pulis whilst playing for the Aztex, the American club that Stoke are strong links with, during their week-long tour of England in October.

Source: BBC_Sport