"I haven't always been in football and affiliated with big clubs," he told The Sentinel, "and a lot of my friends, and my wife, I met when I was still working in Sainsbury's.
"If I go back there and I act any differently, they will tell me. The last thing you want to do is alienate yourself from your core friends.
"If anything, I alienated myself from my early pro colleagues at Cambridge because I didn't know how to handle the new world I was in.
"Off the pitch I'm not a footballer at all. I haven't got the same kind of interests and keep myself to myself.
"Some people at Cambridge found that a difficult thing to accept and I certainly found it difficult to integrate.
"But as the years have gone on, I've learned more how it works.
"At Reading it was easier to try to be yourself because we had grown up together and done so much together.
"Here at Stoke I have kept myself to myself and have a bit of banter now and again.
"I like being around players on match day, but I also like my own company and I'm a bit of a loner in some respects. I'll read a book, or write something or watch a film."