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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 3 hours ago
Read
Dec 12, 2012

N'Zonzi praises stubborn Stoke

Steven N'Zonzi has underlined the need for Stoke City to remain resilient as they look to build on their impressive away form when they return to the Britannia Stadium this weekend.

• Blog: Owen set to return

Following an unrewarding start to the season on the road, Stoke's last three trips have earned them draws at West Ham and Aston Villa, adding to a victory at West Brom.

They now have three of their next four games at home, starting with Everton on Saturday, and N'Zonzi believes the Potters' stubborn defence is vital to their prospects over the festive period.

"It's true that we are very strong defensively and that is very good for the team," he said. "We have to keep going at that and maybe score a few more goals. Defensively, we are very good. That is the most important thing. But as soon as we can get clean sheets, it is always important to score more goals.

"It's all the team - the back four, the midfielders and the strikers. We work hard together, so that is why at the moment we are so good defensively. I am very impressed. We don't concede many goals and we have to keep going like that and hopefully score more goals and win more games."

The pre-deadline signing from Blackburn has quickly become a fans' favourite in his two and a half months in the Potteries, remaining an ever-present since making his debut at home to Manchester City in mid-September.

But he will spare a thought for team-mate Ryan Shotton, who has to sit out Saturday's game through suspension following his controversial sending-off at Villa.

"The fans make me very happy and I want to thank them for supporting me and the team," he said. "They are very good like that. I feel good but, of course, as you play more games, you can improve.

"I don't know if I'm better than before but it's always good to play games in the Premier League and I am improving every week.

"I don't really think that Ryan deserved a yellow card. It was very hard. Maybe he touched him (Fabian Delph) a little bit but it wasn't a big foul to deserve a yellow card."

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