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Pulis fires Shotton warning

Tony Pulis has held talks with Ryan Shotton to avoid the Stoke-born defender wasting his talent and dropping out of his long-term plans at the Britannia Stadium.

• Blog: Do the right thing, Pulis
• Owen blames Reds for injury woes

The Stoke manager has urged the Shotton to make the most of his latest chance, following injuries to Marc Wilson and Andy Wilkinson, after concerns the full-back had allowed his standards to slip since last season.

Pulis has no doubts the 24-year-old, born in Fenton, has all the natural ability required to be a success at the highest level, but has hinted at problems over his attitude and lifestyle, which has seen him lose his way this term.

"I've had a good chat with Ryan and now it's up to him. Ryan just has to sort his head out and make sure that for every training session he is ready to go," said Pulis.

"We all have bad days and I accept that, but I will not accept people who don't give their best and think they can get away with it. To be a professional footballer at this level you have to sacrifice certain things and he realises that.

"What Ryan has got to understand is that it's not just about ability, it's also about temperament and attitude. He has all the tools, but you have to apply yourself – it's not a God-given right.

"You have to dedicate yourself to your profession and Ryan has got to do that. If he does, he's got a bright future."

Pulis feels being a local player is a double-edged sword. Shotton enjoyed a rise to prominence last season before his form fell away alarmingly, but now injuries have given him another chance to prove himself.

"It's a great help to have local lads playing for your club because it gives youngsters in the town players to aspire to, but it also brings other problems because people can get carried away with themselves.

"Since getting back into the team Ryan has done brilliantly at full-back. Last year he had a great run of games and then dropped off."

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