Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Etherington lives up to Matthews legend

Matthew Etherington

Stoke boss Tony Pulis hailed Matthew Etherington's match-winning performance against Blackburn as a fitting tribute to Sir Stanley Matthews.

Etherington scored one goal and made another in the Potters' 3-0 win at the Britannia Stadium, on the day the club commemorated Matthews' final appearance in a Stoke shirt 45 years ago.

"It was lovely for Matty to score, for a winger to score a goal of that quality, real quality," said Pulis, who was also celebrating his 300th game in charge of Stoke. "I've just been told he (Matthews) didn't score many goals but he provided bundles. I'm delighted, and delighted for the team and everyone at the football club."

Pulis has been touting Etherington for some time to follow in Matthews' footsteps by breaking into the England team and the manager believes it may have already happened if the 28-year-old was plying his trade at a more high-profile club.

"If he was at a more fashionable club, I think he'd be getting more attention," Pulis said.

"But having said that, the kid was different class.

"He can do that - you watch him in training and Matty has got everything in the locker.

"He works so hard for the football team as well, he gets up and down the pitch. You ask Danny Higginbotham (who played behind him at left-back) what he thinks of him when we haven't got the ball and the work he puts in.

"He's got all the tools, Matty. He's a very fit lad, technically very good and he's got pace.

"I'm very pleased and people are talking about him playing for England and Ryan (Shawcross) playing for England. It's brilliant for us."

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