Stoke City winger Matthew Etherington has warned his teammates to expect a tough challenge against Hajduk Split.

The former Peterborough United starlet has made his own personal scouting notes on the Croatian outfit via YouTube, and has been impressed with the side ahead of their Europa League qualifier tomorrow night (Thursday).

"They looked a good team from what I saw," said Etherington in reference to a pre-season clash with La Liga giants Barcelona.

"Hajduk had plenty of chances, and Barca had players like Iniesta and Villa on the pitch, so they are a very good team. The atmosphere in Split looked brilliant, and I was glad I watched it because there's no taking Hajduk lightly.

"From what I have seen, it's going to be a tough game for us and we will need a lead, any lead, going to Croatia."


The Potters have so far struggled in pre-season, with Tony Pulis' side slipping to back-to-back defeats against Brentford and Aldershot.

Etherington admits that both he and his teammates will need to improve to get a result in the first leg, but believes the team will be a different beast when they take to the field at the Britannia Stadium.

"We need to improve on our performances in pre-season, but I'm sure we will. We are a different animal at the Britannia and it will be all guns blazing," continued the former West Ham United flyer.

"We've had a really tough pre-season with a lot of hard work, and it takes a couple of weeks after that to get back into the swing of things. Now I think we are as ready as we can be. We would have liked a bit more time, but the fitness is more or less there now.

"But we also know we have to improve performances because what we are playing against on Thursday is a step up in class. It's important how you play tactically. Our manager is usually very good on that and will know how to play on their weaknesses."

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