Date: 21st August 2008 at 4:19pm
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Nicky Shorey has said too many people are writing off Stoke City, but points to former club Reading as an example of how newbies to the league can impress and surprise people.

When Reading came up as winners of the Championship in 2005-06, their first campaign in the Premiership saw an 8th place finish which hardly anyone tipped them to achieve.

It is with this in mind, Shorey says on the official site, that Stoke need to be given more respect than they are currently receiving, because they might well turn out to be the surprise package this season.

‘A lot of people have written Stoke off already because they’ve never been a Premier League side before and they are newly promoted. But I think we proved at Reading that you can survive and do well at this level as newboys.

‘It won’t matter to them that people are writing them off. The most important thing will be their team spirit because anything can be achieved if you are in it together.

‘That first season in the top-flight at Reading was a fantastic experience. We were coming off the back of an unbelievable season in the Championship. We always felt we would be fine in the Premier League and so it proved.

‘It’s going to be a tough game. I’ve played there many a time with Reading and it’s always been a really difficult place to go and get a result. I think it will be the same on Saturday.

‘It’s their first game in the Barclays Premier League at the Britannia and that’s key for them, especially after losing their opening match at Bolton.

‘Their home crowd will be making a lot of noise and it’s up to us to quieten them down.’