Stoke City: Fulham defeat just not good enough, says Shotton
RYAN Shotton summed up Stoke's away record with brutal honesty by declaring: "It's not good enough."
Shotton was in no mood to make excuses after defeat at Fulham on Saturday made it just one win in Stoke's last 23 league games on the road.
"Sometimes we do just enough to keep a clean sheet, it's not good enough," he asserted.
"We've got to go out and press teams and make chances for ourselves.
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"We've got enough home games to cover that 40-point mark, but we want performances that push us up the league and make us look good."
Stoke were undone by a touch of quality from Dimitar Berbatov after he won the game with a brilliant finish just seconds before the half-time whistle.
"It was a great strike from Berbatov," Shotton, right, conceded. "We've dealt with the cross and then he's hit it first time. There's not a lot you can do.
"The goal changes everything after coming literally on half-time. I don't think we pressed them high enough up the pitch or got enough balls forward in the first half.
"But we pressed them higher in the second half and so we've got to make sure we listen to the manager."
Shotton was predictably sympathetic towards one of his team-mates after briefly re-living the moment Jon Walters saw his 55th-minute penalty saved comfortably by Mark Schwarzer.
"He (Walters) has been on them all season – and for as long as I've known.
"I think it was quite a good penalty anyway, but if the keeper goes the right way that's penalties for you."
Shotton's impressive defensive display at right-back was mirrored to a degree by Marc Wilson at left-back following his return from the broken leg he suffered at the end of October.
"He's a warrior, and a fit one," said Shotton, "and hopefully he stays fit for us."
He was similarly impressed by Brek Shea's debut after the young American stepped in early for the injured Matthew Etherington before the game had barely got into its stride.
"We got it out wide to Brek who had a great debut. He gives us a different dimension because he's got a great whip on his left foot which we have seen in training."
Shotton himself is hoping his own display – one of his best defensively – will encourage his manager to give him an extended run at right-back.
"That's my position," he asserted. "That's a couple of games in a row for me and hopefully I will come back fighting for it again next week.
"I enjoyed it, especially against an international like (Damien) Duff who's still got good pace, which surprised me, so I had to stay on my toes."