Frustrated Etherington aiming to force his way into Stoke first team

Stoke City winger Matthew Etherington is hoping that his impressive cameo during his side's 2-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday will prove enough to earn him a regular starting berth.

The 31-year-old has suffered from a poor recent run of form which has seen him fail to make a start for the Potters since the opening day of the season.

However, the former West Ham player states that he respects manager Tony Pulis' decision and is frustrated only with his own level of performance in recent matches.

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"It has been frustrating for me because I know that my form hasn't been anywhere near the levels which I am capable of over the past year or so," he told the club's official website.

"It is disappointing not to be starting games, but I fully respect the manager's decision. The team has been doing well recently so I can't complain too much.

"The biggest disappointment though, like I have said so many times before, has been my own form but I don't want to go over old ground – all I will say is I am doing everything I can to get back to my best.

"I am working as hard as I ever have done in training to try to get back in the team again, and that is what I will continue to do."

The Staffordshire outfit travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in their next Premier League fixture on Sunday.

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