Stoke boss Tony Pulis has told midfielder Matthew Etherington that he still has a future with the Potters despite a disappointing start to the season.
Etherington's opportunities have been limited due to the arrival of Michael Kightly from Wolves, with Jermaine Pennant usually selected on the opposite wing.
"Irrespective of what people might be saying, Matty has got a massive future at this football club," Pulis told the Stoke Sentinel.
"Matty has had a dip in form, and there are a lot of reasons why players can lose form.
"A fit, dynamic and athletic Matthew Etherington is something we haven't got elsewhere in the squad."