Tony Pulis has assured midfielder Matthew Etherington that he still has a future at Stoke City, despite starting just one Premier League game this season.
Etherington's opportunities have been limited due to the arrival of Michael Kightly from Wolves, with Jermaine Pennant usually selected on the opposite wing.
But Pulis has stated that Etherington should expect to gain more first-team action, as long as he continues to apply himself in training.
"Irrespective of what people might be saying, Matty has got a massive future at this football club," Pulis told the Stoke Sentinel.
"Matty has had a dip in form, and there are a lot of reasons why players can lose form.
"A fit, dynamic and athletic Matthew Etherington is something we haven't got elsewhere in the squad."
Etherington has made 134 appearances for the Potters since arriving from West Ham in January 2009.