Stoke City: Brek Shea in the frame for Premier League debut against Fulham
FIGHTING fit Brek Shea is knocking on Tony Pulis' door for a first Premier League appearance this weekend.
The 22-year-old United States international impressed in a 3-1 win over Scunthorpe United in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Britannia Stadium yesterday.
The January deadline day signing is now hoping for a chance in the first team when the Potters travel to Fulham on Saturday (12.45pm).
Coach Mark O'Connor confirmed he is in the thoughts of the manager – and that the team on the sidelines see Shea's future in midfield.
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O'Connor said: "It was nice for Brek to play another game. He's getting to know his teammates and developing that understanding the more they play together.
"He comes into our thinking for Fulham. He is in the mind of the manager."
The coach, himself a former winger, added: "Yes, his position is definitely on the left-side of midfield."
Stoke fielded a strong side against Scunthorpe to give players a taste of action after the enforced break of an FA Cup weekend.
Marc Wilson completed another hour at left-back as the 25-year-old continues his recovery from a fractured left fibula he suffered against Sunderland back in October.
Striker Cameron Jerome was substituted after 27 minutes with a knee injury.
But O'Connor said: "It was just precautionary after he took a bit of a knock. He will be fine."
Kenwyne Jones, Charlie Adam, Dean Whitehead, Michael Owen, Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Pennant were given 60-minute run-outs.
Whitehead, Adam Thomas and Ed Sanders were Stoke's goalscorers.
O'Connor praised the reaction of the senior men who have experienced time out of the first team.
"It's a squad game and the attitudes of all the players have been very good," he said.
"They want to play every week, and are disappointed if they don't get a shirt, but their responses have been spot on.
"They are fighting to get back in the team and get the manager's attention in training. I know how they are feeling and it's good to see that spirit.
"They had a few days off and it was good to get a game."
It is back to business as usual now as Stoke get ready to try to bolster their top-half credentials at Craven Cottage.
O'Connor said: "It's been a quiet week, but we're eager to get back into action."