Potters won’t change despite Walters’ red

Norwich City 1 Cardiff City 1

Walters saw red after a full-blooded challenge for the ball with Alex Tettey in which the Norwich midfielder came off worse.

Although the tackle lacked malice Walters caught Tettey with his studs and referee Andre Marriner deemed it worthy of a dismissal, which will leave Stoke without their hard-working and effective forward for three games.

It was Walters’ first red card in his career and he apologised to Tettey afterwards.

Ryan Shawcross, no shirker when it comes to the physical side of the game, warned that even though Stoke have by far the worst disciplinary record in the Premier League, they were not a dirty side and would not be changing their no-nonsense approach.

“If people don’t like playing against us because we are dirty, which we are not, that is fine,” said Shawcross.

“Reputation might scare people at times so that is fine by us. It shows that people don’t like coming to the Britannia, we have picked up some brilliant scalps this year and you can see why.”

Centre-half Shawcross accepts the Potters need to start doing more away from home after failing to win on the road in the league since last August.

He said: “It is something we want to sort out. The main thing between now and the end of the season is picking up points and not losing away form home, capitalising on your home form to pick up three.

“At times we have played better away from home than we have at home so it is very strange.

“Maybe it is the atmosphere that the Stoke fans create that pushes us on but we have played well at time and hopefully between now and the end of the season we can get a few more wins.”

With each point gained Norwich take another step closer to safety and another season in the Premier League and City midfielder Bradley Johnson is convinced the East Anglian club will continue to surprise the doubters.

Johnson headed in the Norwich opener from a Robert Snodgrass free-kick in an entertaining game at Carrow Road and the Canaries looked good for all three points before Sebastien Bassong conceded a soft penalty, which was tucked away by Walters.

“We don’t take much notice of the relegation chat,” insisted Johnson. “There are a lot of games and a lot of points to pick up. Every game we go into looking to pick up points.

“Everyone writes us off. Throughout my time at Norwich we’ve proven everyone wrong. I relish these games myself. I’ve dreamed of playing in the Premier League against top teams. It’s a dream come true for me to walk out on the pitch. We have to stay in this league.”

Hughton continues to have the full backing of his players, which was evident in their performances.

Former Leeds United midfielder Johnson said: “He’s the right man for the job. He is a great manager.

“He has all of our support and the club have shown that by sticking by him.

“I don’t agree with clubs sacking their managers if they’re at the bottom of the table. We’ve stuck by our gaffer and we always will do. He’s got our backing.”

That said, Johnson admitted Norwich could help the situation by acquitting themselves better defensively. “It’s something we’ve got to nip in the bud.

“Seb’s disappointed to give the penalty away but other than that I thought him and Joseph [Yobo] were top class.

“Stoke are a direct side and they used Peter Crouch well. Joseph and Seb handled him well.

“It was a lack of concentration and Seb’s given away a penalty. He knows what he’s done and is disappointed with himself.”

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy 6; R Martin 6, Yobo 7, Bassong 5, Olsson 6; Redmond 7, Johnson 8, Tettey 6 (Elmander 80), Snodgrass 8; Hoolahan 7 (Howson 69), van Wolkswinkel 5 (Hooper 80).

STOKE: Begovic 7; Cameron 6, Wilson 7, Shawcross 7, Pieters 6; Nzoni 6, Whelan 7, Arnautovic 6 (Etherington 74) 6: Walters 7, Crouch 6, Odemwingie 7 (Guidetti 63, 7; Ireland 80).

Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands).

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