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Monday, September 3, 2012
Whelan determined to prove his worth

Ian Edwards

Glenn Whelan is refusing to be forced out of Stoke City and is ready for a battle to remain at the Britannia Stadium.

Whelan, 28, was linked with a deadline day move to Championship side Wolves, following the arrivals of Charlie Adam, Maurice Edu and Steven N'Zonzi.

Manager Tony Pulis is understood to be looking to trim surplus players from his squad, using the loan market, to create room to offer Michael Owen a pay-as-you-play deal.

But Republic of Ireland international Whelan has no desire to leave less than a year after signing a new contract and wants to remain part of Pulis' plans.

"I didn't hear a thing about Wolves. I came out of training on Friday and a fan said something about it to me. I told him I was going home," Whelan said. "I got a few text messages, but I only just signed a new deal in January and I am here to fight for my spot.

"There are midfielders coming in, so then you think some will be going out, but so long as I have a chance of playing I will keep working hard and trying to impress the manager. It was never a case of me wanting to leave. If I wanted to leave Stoke I would be the person to say it, or the manager."

Whelan played 90 minutes in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Wigan, with Adam coming on as a 36th-minute substitute.

Edu was an unused substitute and N'Zonzi watched from the directors' box having signed too late on Friday to be eligible to play.

After the international break, Whelan knows he will have a major challenge on his hands to keep his place in the side with all the new talent at Pulis' disposal.

"Everyone knows the quality that Charlie has. He has a terrific left foot. Steven suits Stoke and the way we play because he is a big lad and he will put himself about," he said.

"There is major competition. All the lads are raring to go and fight for the spots. There are six or seven of us now and it's only good. We know that if we are not putting it in the games or in training then these lads are going to step in."

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