Stoke winger Matthew Etherington has dismissed suggestions that his poor form this season is due to a return of his gambling addiction.
The former West Ham man scored only his third Premier League goal of the season on Saturday to help the Potters secure a 1-0 home success against Norwich City.
Etherington admits he has not hit the heights of previous years in this campaign, but has categorically denied whispers from the stands that his off-pitch demons have surfaced again.
The 30-year-old spent time in the Sporting Chance Clinic earlier in his career and has previously admitted losing over £1million betting on horse racing and greyhounds and playing poker.
And he hopes that finding the net against the Canaries will provide the springboard to some improved performances for Tony Pulis' men this term.
"It's not been going for me this year for one reason or another and it has been really frustrating," Etherington admitted.
"One thing no-one can accuse me of is not working my socks off every week. That's what I do.
"I am not doing anything differently and my personal life is still brilliant as ever. I have no problems on that front, but it is just not happening for me.
"I suppose that's life. You get on with it and, hopefully, this goal will give me a bit of a boost.
"I have heard a few people talking and shouting their mouths off as usual. But I am not gambling and haven't been for two-and-a-half years and I am very happy.
"I have heard a few things being said. People put two and two together and get five sometimes.
"Just because my form hasn't been as good as it has been for the last two years at this football club doesn't mean I am gambling.
"I don't think I have been awful this season, it's just not happened for me for one reason or another. I still think I am putting in performances, but not at the level that I was previously."