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Walters unaffected by own goals
Published : 16 Jan 2013 15:08:00Rss feed
Stoke forward Jon Walters insists there was never any danger of his two own goals and missed penalty against Chelsea affecting his confidence.
The Potters' 4-0 Premier League defeat to Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday could hardly have gone worse for Walters, who managed to head in two own-goals and then capped a luckless display by firing a penalty against the bar. But playing on the same ground just three days later, the Republic of Ireland international bounced back in style, netting a brace in extra-time to send Stoke on their way to a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace in their FA Cup third-round replay which set up a fourth-round home clash with Manchester City.
In retaining him in the starting line-up, manager Tony Pulis demonstrated his faith in the 29-year-old, who stressed after Tuesday night's match that he had had no fear prior to kick-off that thoughts of the Chelsea contest might hinder him. "It's been a funny few days for me, without doubt,"
Walters told Stoke's official website. "But it's just important not to get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. "In football you have ups and downs, but you have to try and remain level headed at all times - because if you don't then you get affected by things.
"I was confident coming into the (Palace) game, there was never an issue about that.
"What happened on Saturday happened on Saturday and you just have to move on."
He added: "I got a bit of stick from the lads at the weekend, but most of that came from me kicking the ball against my own head (while attempting to take a shot in the first half) before I scored the two own goals. "It's nice to get a couple at the right end though." Palace, who are chasing promotion in the Championship, put up a decent fight on Tuesday night before Walters stole the show in the additional period.
The visitors spurned the opportunity to take the lead in the first half when Thomas Sorensen tipped Jermaine Easter's penalty on to the post. Palace goalkeeper Lewis Price had then allowed Kenwyne Jones' 69th-minute header to slip through his gloves and into the net, but the Eagles equalised through Glenn Murray's successful spot-kick in the 87th minute.
Walters then took centre-stage with a 95th-minute header and slotted finish on 110 minutes, before Cameron Jerome added Stoke's fourth in the dying seconds. It made for a satisfying night's work in the end for the Potters, who returned to winning ways and a more typically solid defensive showing on their own turf following the Chelsea thrashing and a 3-3 draw with Southampton in their last two home league games. One concerning aspect for the hosts, though, was Andy Wilkinson's enforced substitution in the first half.
Pulis said: "He felt his back again - his back cramped up and we had to bring him off." Asked if it meant the full-back was a doubt for Saturday's Premier League trip to Swansea, Pulis said: "I wouldn't know. "Whether he has just cramped up because of the conditions, I don't know, but we'll assess it."
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