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Delap insists morale strong even if Beattie, Kitson staying at Stoke

Rory Delap says morale won't be affected at Stoke City if James Beattie and Dave Kitson are still with the club for preseason.

Stoke are determined to get market value for the hitmen, who both have a year left on their contracts.

That has raised the possibility of the pair reporting back for pre-season and still being with the club when City kick-off their campaign at Wolves on August 14.

However, Delap, who also played with Beattie at Southampton, says the strike duo's disputes with manager Tony Pulis will not be allowed to affect team morale or performances.

He told The Sentinel: "I don't think it will be a problem.

"Whatever went on between the manager and the players is between them.

"To be fair to Dave and James, they didn't bring it into the dressing room and neither did the manager.

"A lot of people don't believe that, but there was a lot of rubbish in the papers and a lot of it was over-hyped.

"It is part and parcel of football life that things will get blown out of proportion, but they didn't cause a problem in the dressing room. Had they done, then it would have been addressed."

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