Beattie eyes top-flight ton
James Beattie is hoping to become a Premier League fixture as he looks to pass the 100-goal barrier.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 14/01/09 3:35pm
James Beattie is hoping to become a Premier League fixture as he looks to pass the 100-goal barrier in top-flight football.
The experienced striker returned to the big time this week when he completed a £3.5million move from Sheffield United to Stoke.
Having previously experienced life among England's elite during spells at Southampton and Everton, the 30-year-old has racked up 81 goals on the grandest stage.
He has been plying his trade in the Championship for the last 18 months, but is delighted to have been handed a second chance to prove his worth at the highest level.
"I was sure I was always going to get back into the Premier League one way or another," said Beattie.
"I still believe I can do it in this league. I'm proven in this league, so there's no reason to say I can't do it.
"I've got 81 Premier League goals and I've always said I want to get 100 goals.
"I have been brought to score goals. The gaffer (Tony Pulis) has been great with me in outlining what he wants me to do and what my role will be.
"Hopefully I can help the club stay up and that is what I have come to do."
Beattie admits his time spent out of the limelight has helped to reinvigorate his career, with his time at Everton having ended on a sour note.
"I enjoyed my time there, apart from the last 12 months when the manager (David Moyes) didn't see me in his plans and didn't really treat me that well off the pitch," added the former England international.
"It left a bit of a sour taste and it was a really big decision to drop down a division to join Sheffield United.
"But a lot of people have congratulated me in resurrecting my career, as it were, because it would have been easy to disappear down the league.
"Now I've got a chance in the Premier League again with Stoke and I can't wait.
"I was disappointed to leave Sheffield United. Kevin Blackwell and Sam Ellis (manager and assistant) were desperate to keep me but the club wanted me out for financial reasons and nailed their colours to the mast on that one.
"I am very thankful for Stoke giving me the opportunity to pit my wits against some of the best teams in Europe."