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Woody - Hard work paying off

Defender enjoying life at Stoke

By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo.   Last Updated: 05/09/11 11:27am

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Woodgate: Happy with fitness after successful start to the season

Woodgate: Happy with fitness after successful start to the season

Sky Bet

Stoke defender Jonathan Woodgate insists his hard work is paying off in his bid to stay fit.

Woodgate has been plagued by a series of injury problems over the last couple of years leading to Tottenham releasing him at the end of last season.

The 31-year-old has answered the critics who questioned his move to Stoke by starting and finishing all three of his new side's Premier League games to date.

Woodgate is enjoying his renaissance at the Britannia and has thanked Tony Pulis for trusting him with his fitness.

"Yeah, I've enjoyed it to be fair," Woodgate told the Stoke Sentinel. "I've just been working hard. I worked hard in the off season to get really fit and did lots of strength work.

"I've just trained every day and looked after myself in the right way.

"If I don't train (outdoors) the manager has been good. I know when I need to have a day in the gym. It's a matter of trust between us."

Competition

Woodgate knows he must perform if he is to keep his place in the side with competition fierce for central defensive berths in Pulis' starting XI.

"We've got some good defenders and that's the best thing when you get competition for places," added Woodgate.

"You know if you play badly that somebody will step in and take your place."

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