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Pulis pride in Shawcross bow
Published : 16 Nov 2012 15:54:00
Stoke boss Tony Pulis expressed his pride at seeing Ryan Shawcross make his England debut but would like to have seen him make the starting XI.
Shawcross made his senior international bow as a 73rd-minute substitute in the Three Lions' friendly in Sweden, replacing his fellow debutant and centre-back Steven Caulker, who had scored after being handed a place in the first XI.
England were winning 2-1 when Shawcross came on and subsequently ended up losing 4-2, with frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring all four goals for the hosts, the last of which was a stunning long-range overhead kick. The striker netted Sweden's equaliser shortly after Shawcross' introduction having drifted away from the Stoke player, something Pulis is sure the 25-year-old will be disappointed by.
Speaking on Friday ahead of Stoke's Premier League game at West Ham on Monday night, Pulis said: "We are absolutely proud as punch that we have a player representing England. "There hasn't been one at this club for a long time. It's a great fillip for everyone around the football club, and another feather in the cap for the club. "He sat on the bench for around 75 minutes and he is such a big lad, to get him to get on, get going and get into it was a big ask.
"But he enjoyed it, he has got his cap and England shirt and he will always treasure that. We hope he has learned from the experience. "I was disappointed he never started if I'm honest - I think he deserved to start. "(England boss) Roy (Hodgson) picks the team, and I am going to be biased. He has played Caulker and I think he is going to be a very good player, but I just thought Ryan might have got the nod. "He was disappointed with the goal - I think he'll be the first to hold his hands up on that one. "But he looked a little bit frozen when he came on - not mentally, but just a bit stiff.
"They should have been warming him up for 30 minutes before they brought him on." Pulis feels facing Ibrahimovic will only have been to Shawcross' benefit. "You have a look at what the lad (Ibrahimovic) did during the game - he caused every single one of the centre-halves England played a problem, and the fourth goal was something really special," Pulis said. "He (Shawcross) will have gained from playing against a great player, and you just hope he comes out stronger and a better person for it."
Pulis confirmed Shawcross had been the subject of plenty of banter from his team-mates on his return to Stoke. "I texted him before the game, wishing him all the best if he got on, and I texted him after the game and then spoke to him today," Pulis said. "But the lads have been caning him today, so I have left him to the lads. "Irrespective of who or what you are, if they think it's right to have a go at you they will, and he has got it in bucketloads today."
Meanwhile, Pulis is monitoring Glenn Whelan's fitness ahead of Monday's game. Whelan limped off in the Republic of Ireland's friendly against Greece this week with a hamstring complaint and has undergone a scan today to assess the extent of the problem. Fellow Potters midfielders Dean Whitehead (suspension) and Rory Delap (hernia) and defender Marc Wilson (broken leg) are definitely ruled out, and striker Michael Owen (hamstring) almost certainly is, but Pulis is optimistic forward Jon Walters and midfielder Charlie Adam will be available despite picking up knocks.