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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Pieters Back In The Frame

DEFENDER Erik Pieters has thrust himself back into contention for a starting role at the KC Stadium this weekend after overcoming an injury that ruled him out of Saturday's 3-2 triumph against Chelsea.

The Dutch international suffered a groin strain during the Potters' goalless draw with Cardiff City last Wednesday, and was subsequently sidelined as the side recorded a famous victory against Jose Mourinho's side three days later.

He has declared himself fit enough to return to action against Hull City on Saturday however, although he admits that he won't hold any grudges if boss Mark Hughes elects to stick Marc Muniesa, who has impressed at left-back in his absence.

"I am good again now and am ready to go if I am selected of course," he said. "They would not take any risk for the Chelsea game, I was in that much pain it was too much of a risk to play.

"Marc did really well and I am very proud of him. We came to Stoke together, and I know it was difficult for him because he didn't play many matches.

"But when he played against Chelsea it was good for him and good for the team. I want to play as well, but if the manager chooses from me or Marc, it is no problem."

Meanwhile, the former PSV Eindhoven star says he wasn't surprised in the slightest to see on-loan Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi slam home a stunning last minute winner against Chelsea.

"I played against him many times in Holland, and I know what sort of player he is," he added. 

"He is a very, very dangerous winger who can cause every team a lot of problems. He has the ability to do those sort of things that he did on Saturday.

"It was a wonderful goal that he scored and I know that it was a very special moment not just for him, but for everybody connected to the club."

Pieters feels that the result provides full proof that the side are adjusting to the new style of football that Hughes is looking to implement at the Britannia Stadium this season.

"To beat a team like Chelsea, having been behind in the game, was a tremendous achievement for us, and it shows what we are capable of achieving.

"I think a good win like that has been coming because we have made good progress and we feel like we are improving each day that we train, and with each match that comes along.

"It is a different style of football than has been played here over the past six or seven years, so inevitably it will take time, but that win on Saturday has given everybody a huge boost in confidence and we want to go on from this and get another three points against Hull."

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