Whitehead coping with schedule

Midfielder confident in balancing Premier League with Europe

Whitehead: Stoke will cope with balancing act

Stoke midfielder Dean Whitehead admits it will be difficult to balance the Premier League and Europe this season.

The Potters have already played five competitive games in the new campaign, including three in the Europa League.

They have drawn their two Premier League games, against Chelsea and Norwich respectively.

Tony Pulis is hoping his side can overcome Swiss side FC Thun on Thursday to reach the group stages of the competition.

Stoke then go to West Brom just three days later but former Sunderland captain Whitehead says they can cope with the busy schedule.

Sluggish

He said: "It has been a tough week and we were a little sluggish in the first half (against Norwich), but we know that's how it is going to be if we remain in Europe.

"The lads showed great character and togetherness to come back and claim a point at the end of what has been a tough three or four days for the club.

"It is great that we have all these games coming up, because it means we are successful and the lads will draw inspiration from keeping the run going."