Erik Pieters: Stoke City adding to international pedigree

Stoke City
Erik Pieters (right) helped Stoke pick up their first point when they came from 2-0 down to draw at Tottenham

Stoke City defender Erik Pieters says that having so many internationals in their squad can only improve the Premier League club.

The Dutch left-back, 27, was not needed for international duty this week by the Netherlands, who did call up one of his team-mates, winger Ibrahim Afellay.

He is one of 10 Stoke players to have gone away to represent their country.

"It says a lot about the club that we have so many who play for their country," Pieters told BBC Radio Stoke.

"It is very important to have players going away on an international break. When you play for different managers they can teach you different things. When you play international football, you get that experience."

Stoke's international contingent
England - Jack ButlandSwitzerland - Xherdan Shaqiri
Holland - Ibrahim AfellayUSA - Geoff Cameron
Republic of Ireland - Shay Given, Jonathan Walters, Marc Wilson, Glenn Whelan Austria - Marko Arnautovic, Daniel Bachmann (Under-21s)

After picking up just two points from their first four matches, Stoke are faced with a tough return to Premier League action when they travel to Arsenal on Saturday.

But they will come up against an Arsenal side that has failed to score in five of their last six home games.

Mark Hughes' Stoke are further motivated by a frustrating start to the season that has seen them draw both away games, but lucklessly fail to pick up a point at home - thanks to a late Philippe Coutinho winner for Liverpool and two contentious red cards against West Bromwich Albion.

"We've been a bit unlucky with our start to the season," added Pieters. "We have not got the points we hoped for, but the players have been working hard and we are desperate to get some points on the board."

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