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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Crouch ready for Coloccini rematch

Ian Edwards

Peter Crouch is determined to lead a Stoke City revival against Newcastle United this weekend - despite having to relive the horrific clash with Fabricio Coloccini.

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Crouch has only just started playing without a special mouth-guard which was fitted after his sickening clash with the Newcastle defender which cost him three teeth last November as Stoke won 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.

The former England striker feels he is fully recovered from the extensive dental surgery and is now more concerned with the problems at the Britannia Stadium after a run of one win in their last nine matches.

That sequence has coincided with growing frustration from supporters over the leadership of Tony Pulis, forcing chairman Peter Coates to voice his support for his manager earlier this week.

Crouch admits to an air of despondency in the dressing room following Saturday's 1-0 defeat against West Ham and feels it is time for Pulis' squad to show some morale fibre for the remainder of the season.

"I know the fans are frustrated, but no one is more frustrated than the players going into work on a Monday," said Crouch.

"It's not a nice place to be when you've just lost, especially at home. We have to address that and give everything in our remaining games.

"It's important we go to Newcastle and show we have got some character."

Crouch's own strength of mind will be tested by reminders of his collision with Coloccini but he insists he does not blame the Argentina defender - who is facing a race to be fit for Sunday's game - for the incident after reviewing a recording of the clash.

"I certainly don't attach any blame to Coloccini. My nose was a bit wonky at Liverpool and I had it put right after a knock," said Crouch.

"And my teeth weren't ideal until I had them knocked out and repaired  so I'm slowly improving as I get older!

"Playing with the mouth guard wasn't ideal, but I didn't wear it at the weekend and it was fine."




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