NEW SIGNING Phil Bardsley revealed he has settled into life at the Club and is looking forward to City’s seventh consecutive Barclays Premier League campaign.
The summer arrival from Sunderland played the entirety of Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers after being forced to miss City’s final game of the tour of Germany against Schalke 04 due to a slight injury.
The 29-year-old told Stoke City Player
it was good to return to action during a game in which he felt the Potters could have claimed victory.
“It’s gone fairly well despite a little bit of a setback whilst out in Germany with my calf so I’m delighted to get 90 minutes under my belt this afternoon,” said Bardsley.
“It was a tough test because they obviously kick-off their season next weekend and that showed in the first half when we didn’t really get going but in the second half I thought we grew into it and looked the stronger team.
“The longer the game went on we created a number of chances and on another day we would have put them away but it’s part of pre-season and hopefully we can convert them a week on Saturday.”
He added: I’m really enjoying it at the Club. It is very much a family club and that was one of the main attractions in my decision to come to Stoke.
“The lads have been brilliant with me, as too has the manager and coaching staff by all welcoming me to the football club so now I just want to do my best for the team and fans.
Bardsley’s arrival alongside four further additions made by Mark Hughes during the summer transfer window has increased competition throughout the squad but the defender says it is something which can only be a positive to help the Club move to the next level.
“We have got quite a few players in the squad and everyone is fighting for a place in the team but that is the way it should be to get the best out of people,” he said.
“You have to set yourself high standards to play every week at this football club and I’m sure that is what every player is aiming to do.”