sport

Shawcross welcomes fear factor

Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross is more than happy for the Potters to have a reputation which puts fear into their opponents.

Mark Hughes' side have claimed some notable victories at the Britannia Stadium this season, with wins over title-chasing duo Chelsea and Arsenal and a goalless draw against Manchester City.

Centre-back Shawcross has rejected suggestions that Stoke are a 'dirty' side, but has no problem if other teams' perceptions give them a psychological edge.

He said: "If people don't like playing against us because we are dirty - which we are not - that's fine.

"Reputations might scare people sometimes so that is fine by us. People just don't like coming to the Britannia.

"We have picked up some brilliant scalps this year and you can see why. When sides come there they tend to struggle."

Stoke are currently in 19th place in the and saw striker Jon Walters dismissed in Saturday's 1-1 draw away to Norwich after levelling from the penalty spot.

Hughes' side have won just once on their travels this season - at West Ham back in August - and Shawcross admitted that is an issue they are looking to address.

He added: "We haven't won away since August and our away form is obviously something that we want to sort out.

"But it's not just us. I think it's the same for most teams. Most people like their home comforts and we are no different.

"Wally apologised afterwards and he was obviously disappointed.

"But I haven't seen the incident again yet so I don't know if his apology was worthwhile or not!"