Friday, October 31, 2008

Whelan may consider move to save international career

Stoke manager Tony Pulis will not loan out any more of his players before the transfer window opens in January.

Pulis knows there is plenty of interest in several of his personnel and, with defender Lewis Buxton loaned to Sheffield Wednesday last week, there has been speculation over the future of midfielder Glenn Whelan in particular.

Whelan has not featured in the Barclays Premier League since Stoke's opening-day defeat at Bolton but Pulis said: "Glenn is going nowhere and neither is anyone else who is in our first-team squad."

He added: "Glenn has been to see me and I've told him his chance will come around again. It will then be up to him to take that chance.

"We are going to need all the players at some stage and some of them will have to be patient.

"Having a big squad and players who are unhappy at not playing is a new experience for me, but one that I was always going to come up against.

"I can see both sides of the coin because I was a player myself many moons ago. No-one was more unhappy than me if I was ever left out."

When questioned over a possible move away from Stoke City Whelan said:

“If I don’t get back in the Stoke team,” he says, “I don’t think I will have a chance in the international team because the Ireland manager will be looking for match-fit players.

“There’s a big gap now and if I don’t play a lot of games between now and the next international in February, then that will affect me.”

Not that he is pitching for a move in the January transfer window, he insists, merely setting himself a personal target to regain that coveted club spot sooner rather than later.

“Ask any player and they will tell you they want to play every game they possibly can,” said Whelan. “It hasn’t happened for me, but I’ve been working hard in training and hopefully I can impress the manager. At the end of the day he can only pick 11 now that we have a bigger and better squad.

“I think I’m more than capable of getting back into the team and I just have to make sure that when February comes around I’m back playing here. It’s going to be tough, but I think I’m capable.”

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