GLENN WHELAN has held his hands up and apologised for the role he played in Newcastle United's crucial leveller on Sunday afternoon . . . as the Potters slipped to another undeserved defeat on the road.
The Republic of Ireland international was dispossessed in possession with Tony Pulis' side seemingly on course for only a second away win of the campaign, before giving away a decisive free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area - which Yohan Cabaye went on to score from.
Further salt was added to the wounds of the luckless visitors deep into stoppage time as Senegalese star Papiss Cisse secured the Magpies all three points with a close range strike; and in the process breaking the
hearts of Whelan and his City teammates.
"It's frustrating for us all, but even more so for me because it was my fault that Newcastle were allowed to get back in the game," the 29-year-old told Stoke City Player.
"It was my error, and I can only apologise because up until that point they hadn't really caused us too many problems.
"I lost the ball, and then gave the free-kick away in a dangerous area, and then their lad tucked it away well. I hold my hands up for it, and have apologised to the lads."
He added: "Obviously I want to apologise to all the supporters too, especially those who travelled all the way up here. It's a hard one to take, especially for myself."
The loss in the North East means the Potters have now slipped to seven defeats in nine league games, but despite his obvious disappointment, Whelan believes that positives have to be taken from their latest
"It was better, without a doubt," he said. "That performance against West Ham wasn't one that anybody would associate with Stoke, so it was important to get back on the training ground and make sure everything was right for today's game.
"We've come here today, put everything that we worked on in to practise, and then got hit right at the death, which has hurt us, especially me, as I said before.
"If we can take the performance from the game with us into the West Brom game, my mistakes apart obviously, then there is no reason why we can't get things back on track again.
"We are under a bit of pressure now, results haven't gone our way, so it is a big game for us, and one that we are absolutely desperate to go out and win."