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Stoke crock Lawrence itching for first team return

Stoke City midfielder Liam Lawrence is keen to return for the FA Cup tie away at Hartlepool. The 27 year old has been out since the end of August with an ankle injury after he bizarrely tripped over his dog at home.

"It's brilliant to be involved in the squad again, I'd have liked to have got on in the last two games, but the lads have done really well," Lawrence told The Sentinel.

"It's just a shame we lost both games. Had we not had players sent-off I think we would have come out of them with something."

Lawrence is determined to show the club what they have missed.

"I have been training hard and it is just a matter of getting games now. I do need them," he added.

"It has been frustrating with us not having reserve games lately, but I am working doubly hard in training. It's been a nightmare watching.

"I've been waiting for the manager to give me the nod, but it's not come yet, so I am keeping my fingers crossed."

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