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Garcia hoping for New Year cheer



Javi Garcia is hoping that Stoke City prove lucky opponents for him.

The Spanish midfielder has happy memories of a goal-scoring debut at the Britannia Stadium in September and feels he is well-suited to games against teams that can mix ability with a physical presence.

And after starting roles against Reading and Sunderland he is hoping for more game time on New Year’s Day.

“Maybe I enjoy the physical games more because it suits my style,” he smiled.

“I need to be physically at my best for games such as this and so does the rest of the team. Stoke can be a match for anyone so you have to be strong for challenges such as this.


I know the more I play, the better I will get


...Javi Garcia


Garcia admits the Premier League takes some adapting to after spending several years in Portugal with Benfica.

But as he settles into life in England, he feels his contribution to the team will improve.

“Yes, it’s a new experience for me but I think it’s really good for me – I need to play catch-up so on a personal level, the more games the better,” he said.

“The Premier League has many different qualities and it is very fast and physical and it takes time to adapt. But I’ve been in England for four months, now. I will continue to improve and show my true form in the New Year.”

And Garcia says the title-race is still wide open and shouldn’t be considered an all-Manchester affair with five months of the season still to go.

"I don't agree that only United can stop us winning it,” he opined. “The good thing about the Premier League is that anyone can pull off a surprise.

"There are other teams who can push up the table and challenge for the title. But having said that, I believe if we finish above United, we will win the league.

"It's still very early, there are still a lot of games left to play, so it is too soon to just say it is only the two of us. Chelsea are not far away It’s the games against good solid sides like Stoke that could ultimately determine who finishes first."

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