RYAN SHOTTON believes Stoke City can count themselves unfortunate not to have taken a point from their clash against Fulham . . . but acknowledges that performances must improve over the final few months of the season.
Tony Pulis' side slipped to an eighth League defeat of the campaign against the Cottagers, who had Bulgarian star Dimitar Berbatov to thank for their victory after he exquisitely volleyed home the only goal of the game before half-time.
The visitors had chances to claim a point from the clash, with Jonathan Walters guilty of spurning the best of the lot from the penalty spot in the second half.
Shotton feels the side would have taken something from the game had the Irishman managed to have capitalised, although he still doesn't feel that the performance was quite up to scratch.
"It was a bit scrappy at times, and in the end a wonder goal from Dimitar wins them the game," he said following the encounter.
"I thought we managed to restrict them to a couple of opportunities, and we had chances to get something from the game; especially with the penalty.
"Unfortunately, it didn't fall for us and they have got the three points. It could have panned out differently, but we have to accept it and move on."
The Fenton-born defender added: "These are games where we feel we can get results from, so it is disappointing to have lost it.
"We were better in the second half when we played at a higher tempo, and we have to build upon that starting against West Ham next week."
Shotton was also full of praise for American international Brek Shea, after he impressed from the substitutes bench on what was his Potters debut.
"He had a great first game for me, and showed the qualities he has in his locker," he said.
"He won us the penalty and I thought he looked dangerous whenever he was on the ball.
"He has settled in well since he's arrived and I am convinced that he will be a very good asset for us."