Stoke City defender Ryan Shotton reflects on dream season

Stoke City defender Ryan Shotton
Shotton made his Stoke debut in a Carling Cup tie at Cheltenham in 2008

Stoke defender Ryan Shotton has said the first four months of the season could not have gone any better for him.

Shotton has broken into the Potters' first-team set-up, playing 14 times, and made his first Premier League start in Sunday's win at Everton.

"I couldn't have had a better season," the 23-year-old told BBC Radio Stoke.

"If you'd have told me that before Christmas I would have played this amount of games, I would have been over the moon and that's what I am."

He added: "Europe has been brilliant, I've been getting a few goals and then the start on Sunday rounds it all off for me."

Shotton was believed to be a target for Championship side Ipswich in August but remained at the Britannia Stadium and has been a key part of the team that has taken Stoke into the last 32 of the Europa League, starting all five of the Potters' matches in Group E.

And he thinks he is improving all of the time, especially playing alongside international defenders such as Jonathan Woodgate, Matthew Upson and Robert Huth.

"If you look at the defenders that we've got, there's experience all the way through," said Shotton, who will be part of the squad for the Premier League game against in-form Tottenham on Sunday.

"You just have to take a little bit out of each of their games and incorporate it into your game.

"I don't think you ever stop learning. You've got to know what you've got to do to improve."

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