Arsenal trip should hold no fear for Shawcross

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Stoke manager Tony Pulis has told captain Ryan Shawcross he has nothing to worry about when he heads to Arsenal on Saturday.

Shawcross faces the Gunners for the first time since a challenge on Aaron Ramsey in a Barclays Premier League game in February resulted in the young midfielder sustaining a broken leg.

Shawcross is likely to face considerable abuse from Arsenal fans at the Emirates Stadium, but Pulis said: "We all take stick. We'll see what happens, but I don't give a damn what people think of Ryan outside this club."

He added: "He's a great lad, an honest lad, a competitive defender who has done fantastically well for us.

"I've seen the challenge over and over again, and I'm convinced, as are 99.9% of people I've spoken to who have seen it, that it was an honest challenge. There was no malice in that tackle whatsoever.

"I know he is an honest person, that he doesn't have that within him to go out and hurt someone.

"He made an honest, committed challenge, and he's nothing to worry about. He'll get that from me. He'll go out there and play."

Pulis, meanwhile, has laughed off suggestions Shawcross will be provided with his own personal security into and out of the ground.

"Extra security? What? On the pitch? Yeah, we're going to play with 14 players," joked Pulis.

When it was suggested Shawcross would have personal bodyguards, Pulis smiled and added "If they'll allow me to do it, I'll take that one."

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Stoke City
Ryan Shawcross
Premier League

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