Stoke City: Potters search for Palacios impact
STOKE'S hierarchy is hoping a full pre-season will help them to finally get the best out of midfield enigma Wilson Palacios.
The Honduras international played in the first half of Thursday's friendly win over FC Sion and is now set to feature prominently during Stoke's three-match trip to the United States.
The 27-year-old former Tottenham midfielder struggled for form and fitness last season following his £6m move north on deadline-day.
But he was recovering from a knee problem when he signed for Stoke and the club's management believe a full pre-season alongside the rest of the squad will give Palacios a much better chance of impressing this season.
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Assistant boss Dave Kemp, below, said: "We certainly hope so, that's the plan. He is in among the group working very hard and we hope to see the benefit on the pitch.
"Last season when he came to us he had to get over an injury and we had to get him fit. He was always behind the game and it is unfair to judge him on that.
"Hopefully we will see the benefit of him training with us in pre-season.
"He is a quality player. We want to see the best of him, but I am sure that he also wants to show the best of himself to the Stoke fans. I am sure that is what he is working towards."
Meanwhile, Jamie Ness has been been given the go-ahead by FIFA to start his career with Stoke.
International clearance for the transfers of Ness, and four other Rangers players, was put on hold after Rangers newco disputed the players' status.
A number of Ibrox players, following advice from their union, PFA Scotland, rejected the chance to transfer their contracts from Rangers to Charles Green's Sevco consortium.
Green rejects the claim that the players are free agents and the former Sheffield United chief executive sent letters to clubs across the UK warning them that the players who objected to the switch to Sevco were in breach of contract.
However, PFA Scotland solicitor, Margaret Gribbon, of Bridge Litigation, said: "I can confirm that Jamie Ness has been granted provisional clearance from FIFA.
"I am delighted about that and expect all other applications pending before FIFA to take the same course."
Ness wasn't able to play for City in their opening friendly against Sion because the youngster was still awaiting the green light.
MARC Wilson has been recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad for a friendly in Serbia on August 15. Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters retain their places, but several older heads like Shay Given, Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne have been rested.
STOKE have announced it will become the first club in the UK to have double-decker electronic advertising boards around the perimeter of its pitch.
The move will increase advertising revenue at a time when potential TV audiences could top 4.3 billion worldwide.
STRIKER Ricardo Fuller, who hasn't been offered a new deal at Stoke, has been linked with a move to Championship side Hull City.
Ric's City career was Fuller memories : Green 'Un Page 2