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Pulis denies fall-out with Stoke winger Pennant

Stoke boss Tony Pulis insists there is no rift with Jermaine Pennant who has struggled to make the first team this campaign due to the form of local boy Ryan Shotton. Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Norwich at the Britannia Stadium, Pulis said:>q> "Anything I do with players, it is between me and the players, but there are no problems.

"I have a lad called Ryan Shotton who I thought was outstanding against Swansea (last weekend's 2-0 home victory in the league) and is playing well.

"He is a young lad, born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent and playing on the same side as another player who is born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent (right-back Andy Wilkinson), which is fantastic.

"I have been criticised at this football club for not playing young players, or for playing certain players and not others.

"That is just what happens - it is part and parcel of the game and you have to accept it and get on with it.

"The thing all managers do is pick teams to win games, because if they don't win games they don't keep their jobs. So I pick a team that I think is going to win a game of football, whether I like players, dislike them or think they are good or bad for the group.

"There will be people who want to make an issue of it because it is Jermaine.

"If so, fine, but there isn't an issue with me and he has not been in to see me. He has got on with it and trained well, so it's fine - not a problem."

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