Beattie eyes first-team return

Fit-again Stoke City striker James Beattie hopes to be able to force his way back into the first-team reckoning at the Britannia Stadium before the end of the season.

Former England international Beattie lasted the full 90 minutes of a goalless draw between Stoke's second string and West Ham's reserves on Tuesday evening, having spent more than a month on the sidelines after knee surgery.

Beattie told The Sentinel:"It was good to play the full game and the knee feels fine.

"Hopefully I can force my way back into the first team in these last six games.

"I'm a Stoke player and as long as that is the case I'll continue to do my best for the club."

Thirty-two-year-old Beattie joined City in January 2009 and has scored ten goals in 39 appearances for the Potters to date, although he has fallen down the pecking order following a bust-up with manager Tony Pulis earlier this season.

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