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Etherington plays down England talk

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Football News

Matthew Etherington believes his confidence and form have returned - even if he finds England talk embarrassing.

The flying Stoke winger has got his old zip back from the days at West Ham when he was considered an international prospect. But now the 28 year-old, who will be facing Portsmouth on Sunday, is just content to have found a new lease of life since his move to the Potteries.

However, he is at least prepared to discuss England even if he believes there is still a long way to go, saying: "It is every player's ambition to play for their country and I am no different. But personally, I think that is a bit far away for me to genuinely think about."

He added: "I know for a fact there have been times when I have been close when my form had been good at West Ham.

"But I don't want to talk myself up for England. I think I could look a bit stupid, because there is a lot of quality in my position."

Etherington is just content to be back in the groove, having fallen from favour at West Ham before being rescued by Stoke boss Tony Pulis in January.

The Cornwall-born winger, who has scored three goals in his last seven games, reckons he is in his best form since he was playing regularly at West Ham.

And Etherington says he is producing consistent performances after proving he can last the distance in games.

He said: "I have played a lot of 90-minute matches lately, which has helped with my fitness and made me feel stronger. Before, when my form wasn't as good, the manager was bringing me off after 60 or 70 minutes.

"Also, I feel very confident at the minute and scoring a couple of goals has helped."

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Stoke City
Premier League
Matthew Etherington

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