1 August 2012 13:38
Stoke City striker Peter Crouch has enjoyed the pre-season tour of the United States, which ends on Wednesday.
Manager Tony Pulis and his side wrap up their first US tour against Sporting Kansas City – their third match in the US.
Stoke finished 14th in the Premier League last season and Crouch thinks training in hot weather is the perfect preparation to try and improve on it.
“We come into these games having only been back for a couple of weeks now,” he said.
“So it’s about getting our fitness back and making sure we are ready for the Premier League season. The results don’t matter too much now but they do in the Premier League and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready.
“Tests like this, where we’re playing Sporting Kansas City, will be good for us and hopefully stand us in good stead when the season starts.”
Two of Crouch’s former teams, Spurs and Liverpool, along with Champions League holders Chelsea, also visited the US for part of their pre-season and he can see why.
“It’s growing here all the time. I think the standard is improving, there’s some great facilities and it’s also a great place to come and visit so everyone’s a winner.
“You see more and more Premier League side’s coming out here to play football but also it’s a good test for them as well.”
Time will tell if their trip to America has set Stoke up well for the upcoming Premier League season – they kick off against newly promoted Reading on August 18.