Stoke City: It's nice to playing again, says Stoke's new boy Shea
BREK Shea felt he didn't do himself justice, despite winning a penalty on his Stoke City debut on Saturday.
The £2.5m signing from FC Dallas was handed his debut after just 24 minutes of the 1-0 defeat at Fulham when his fellow left-winger Matthew Etherington suffered a back injury.
The game was Shea's first after four months out following surgery on his right foot, so he understandably looked a little rusty as he got his first taste of the Premier League.
But he almost got Stoke back into the game when his cross was handled by Ashkan Dejagah.
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However, Jon Walters's 55th-minute spot-kick was saved by Mark Schwarzer.
Shea said: "It's been a long time out and I am glad to be back. It wasn't the way I wanted to play, or the team, but hopefully we can get better.
"I let the guy get the ball in for the cross, so I should have stopped him on their goal.
"But I created a penalty and was lucky… I just have to keep chugging I guess."
Shea showed flashes of pace out on the left to suggest there is more to come from the 22-year-old.
He said: "I'm not 100 per cent, but am getting better and am almost there. I just have to keep playing and get back into it.
"I don't think I played very well today, but it's good to get a taste. Every team has their own style and the league here is faster so you just have to get used to it."
Meanwhile, Stoke City's on-loan contingent had mixed fortunes on Saturday.
Academy striker James Alabi had a game to remember as he made his Football League debut on loan at Scunthorpe.
The powerful forward made an instant impression, scoring with a powerful header after coming on as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat at home to Hartlepool in League One.
Stoke's new keeper Jack Butland also impressed, making a number of saves as Birmingham eased their relegation fears with a 2-0 win at the Championship's bottom club, Peterborough.
Rory Delap had less fortune in the Championship as Barnsley were thumped 5-3 at relegation rivals Bristol City.
Delap played for 90 minutes in the defeat, which leaves the Tykes just two points clear of the drop zone.
Before Saturday, Barnsley had won all four of the games in which Delap had played, including an FA Cup win at MK Dons which has earned them a quarter-final at Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Mama Sidibe got off to a winning start on loan at Tranmere. The striker played for the opening 69 minutes as Rovers romped to a 5-1 win at Colchester United to move up to third in League One.
Rovers boss Ronnie Moore was delighted with the Stoke striker's performance, but revealed he could be a doubt for their home game with Notts County on Tuesday.
Moore said: "We've lacked experience recently, but big Mama got up there, he held it well and everything stuck to him. I thought he was excellent. The problem is he's got a little twinge on his hamstring."