Stoke City: Peter Crouch keen to get his teeth into Newcastle challenge
PETER Crouch says he bears no ill-will against Fabricio Coloccini ahead of Stoke's Premier League clash at Newcastle.
Crouch has cleared the Argentinian of any blame after watching a tape of the aerial clash which cost him three front teeth during Stoke's 2-1 victory over Newcastle in November.
The former England striker, who accidentally kicked West Ham's Matthew Taylor on the cheek bone on Saturday, said: "As you can see from when I clobbered him in the face, that wasn't meant either.
"I felt so guilty after and went in to apologise because I know what it feels like.
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"And I certainly don't attach any blame to Coloccini.
"My nose was a bit wonky at Liverpool and I had it put right after a knock – and my teeth weren't ideal until I had them knocked out and repaired – so I'm slowly improving as I get older!"
Crouch is now hoping for a new lease of life after finally dispensing with the mouth guard he needed after extensive dental surgery.
"Playing with the mouth guard wasn't ideal," he said, "but I didn't wear it at the weekend and it was fine."
Crouch admitted there was an air of despondency hanging over the players after Saturday's 1-0 defeat against West Ham left an unhealthy feel to events at the Britannia.
It is now one victory in nine in the Premier League, but he insists the Stoke party will be in fine fettle come Sunday's trip to Tyneside to face a Newcastle side playing Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League tomorrow evening.
"I know the fans are frustrated," he acknowledged, " but no-one is more frustrated than the players going into work on a Monday.
"It's not a nice place to be when you've just lost, especially at home.
"We have to address that and give everything in our remaining games.
"It's important we go to Newcastle and show we have got some character."
Crouch was speaking at the launch of the Co-operative Bank Football Roadshow which will offer specialist coaching to primary school pupils across the region.
A STOKE under-21s team, full of youth team players, lost 1-0 at Norwich to make it four defeats out of four in the latest phase of their debut season.