Beattie - I have Prem quality
Stoke's James Beattie insists that he never doubted his ability to make a return to the top flight.
By Rob Carragher
Last Updated: 14/03/09 12:16pm
Stoke City striker James Beattie insists that he never doubted his ability to make a successful return to the top flight.
Beattie had been plying his trade in the second tier with Sheffield United until Stoke boss Tony Pulis took the gamble of bringing him back to the Premier League in January.
Many were sceptical about the move, but with the 31-year-old grabbing five goals in seven appearances for the Potters, Beattie feels that he is finally back where he belongs.
"Leaving was hard to take but I'll say this: there has never been a second that I didn't think I was a Premier League footballer," Beattie told the Daily Mail.
"Loads of people have written me off and said I'm no good. But I don't think I've got anything to prove to anybody."
Beattie had spent more than 10 years at the highest level with Blackburn, Southampton and Everton, but it was the decision to swap the Merseysiders for a brief spell in the Championship that reignited his career.
"I was forced into a bit of a corner and I had a decision to make," added Beattie of the proposal to move to Bramall Lane.
"Someone of the stature of Bryan Robson coming round to my house, talking to me as a person, treating me with respect and saying he wanted me to play for Sheffield United was nice to hear having spent 12 months in the wilderness.
"I didn't really want to go. I wanted to stay and prove myself like I've done several times in my career. It was a massive decision and I spoke to a lot of people in football.
"I've since had the same people congratulate me on the way I've come back because a lot of players drop out of the top flight and you never see them again."