Saturday, 7 April 2012

Woodgate Ready To Face Wolves Demons

Jonathan Woodgate has convinced Tony Pulis there will be no repeat of his nightmare showing against Wolves. 

Woodgate was dragged off after just 19 minutes as winger Matt Jarvis ran him ragged in the December win at Molineux. 

The former England international failed to adapt to a right-back role and later admitted Pulis was right to sub him. 

However, with regular full-back Andy Wilkinson an injury doubt, the 32-year-old is being lined up for another run-out in the unfamiliar role in Saturday's return fixture. 

But Pulis is certain he can cope and has given him a confidence boost by saying a new deal is also on the cards. 

The Stoke boss said: “The first challenge in that game at Wolves was a bad one. I remember it well, it got him booked and put him in danger. 

“He then gave the penalty away and could easily have been sent off. I changed it because of that - the team is much more important than the individual at this club.

“But for a player who has played the number of games he has played, he won’t be fazed by facing Jarvis again. 

"He would be fine. He is that good a footballer.”

Woodgate needs another three Premier League appearances to trigger a clause in his contract that gives him another year at Stoke. 

But Pulis said: “He doesn’t have to play another three games to get a new contract at this club. I would like to keep him. He’s fantastic."

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