Goal-shy Stoke City 'must give Peter Crouch a lift', says Jon Walters
JON Walters says Stoke must give Peter Crouch more support as they try to improve their poor form in front of goal.
City have netted just eight goals in 10 league games this season – only Sunderland have netted fewer in the top flight.
But Walters revealed they are working hard in training to make sure Crouch, who has netted half of Stoke's league goals, has help when they tackle second-from-bottom QPR at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday looking for a second win of the season.
Walters, Michael Kightly and Matthew Etherington appear to be battling it out for the two wide places if Tony Pulis sticks with his preferred 4-5-1 formation.
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But whoever plays, Walters says the players know they have to get forward more.
He explained: "Sometimes Crouchy is left on his own up front, so he is battling against two centre-halves and a midfielder screening in front of him. It is very difficult.
"So as a team I think we can do better going forward and we are working on that."
Walters has netted once in the league this season, but says judging him on goals alone is a little unfair.
He's mainly played out wide this year which, especially against the bigger clubs, has involved plenty of defensive work.
He added: "Out wide, if you looked at the average position, especially against the big teams, it would be at right or left back.
"It is sometimes difficult for Kites (Michael Kightly) to come in as well. He is used to playing a lot further up the pitch and he comes in and finds out he is a lot deeper.
"You are picking the ball up at the edge of your own 18-yard box.
"As a wide man, I am not going to do 10 step overs, drop a shoulder and take on three or four players.
"It is all about the three in midfield at the moment building through the pitch."
Pulis will decide whether to stick with Charlie Adam as the most advanced of his three central midfielders, with defensive cover being provided by Steven Nzonzi and either Glenn Whelan or Dean Whitehead.