Brek Shea is ready to battle for a first-team place at Stoke City after recovering from an early-season knee injury.
The USA international winger has struggled to make an impact at the Britannia Stadium since his January move from Dallas, but believes he is now in a position to force his way into Mark Hughes’ plans.
Shea was regularly involved in the club’s pre-season campaign before injuring his knee ligaments in a friendly against Philadelphia Union.
The 23-year-old has now recovered and is relishing the challenge of earning a first-team place after Stoke’s strong start to the Premier League season.
“It’s going to be a good fight,” he told the club’s official website. “There is a lot of competition for the front three places here and being injured didn’t help my cause.
“I’ve got to put that behind me now though, get fit and fight for a spot. I’m pretty close to full fitness and I feel good, so now it’s up to the manager.
“I’m more likely to have a chance next mid-week at Tranmere (in the League Cup) than at Arsenal on Sunday because we’ve been playing well, and why change a winning team.
“We’ve picked up seven points from four games in the league and we’ve looked good doing it. We’re pleased so hopefully we can keep it up.”
Stoke – who face Arsenal on Sunday – have collected seven points from their opening four Premier League matches.