Stoke coach O'Connor: Etherington can get back to best
O'Connor is confident there is time for the 30-year-old former Stoke player-of-the-year to recapture his old form.
"He knows in his own mind that he fell below his high standards and wasn't on top form last season," O'Connor told The Sentinel, "but he continued to work hard and didn't hide.
"When people set a very high standard like Matty did, you, as coaches, are expecting them to play like that regularly and that is being a bit unrealistic.
"But hopefully, with the addition of one or two players to raise the standard like Peter Crouch did last season, we can get Matty back to his best form."