Walters will bounce back from Chelsea horror show, insist Pulis & Benitez

The Republic of Ireland striker's 100th Premier League appearance was a miserable affair that included two own goals and a missed penalty
Stoke manager Tony Pulis and his Chelsea counterpart Rafa Benitez are confident Jon Walters will bounce back from his personal nightmare in Stoke's 4-0 home defeat against the European Champions.

Walters suffered the ignominy of scoring two own goals, the first a spectacular diving header, and then compounded his misery by blasting a late penalty against the crossbar.

The striker, who was making his 100th Premier League appearance, has become an integral part of a Stoke side that had previously not lost a Premier League game at the Britannia Stadium since last February and Pulis is sure the Republic of Ireland star will recover immediately.

“Jon’s fine,” he told reporters. “We look after people at the football club. It wasn't our day today, it was Chelsea's day.

"I don't think that was a 4-0 today. It's very hard to take because I don't think the lads deserve to be on the back of a 4-0 defeat for that performance."

And Pulis’ opposite number Rafa Benitez also had words of comfort for Walters, comparing his plight to that of Branislav Ivanovic who responded to the two mistakes he made in Wednesday's Capital One Cup defeat to Swansea with a customary resolute display.

“Last week had a player in a difficult position,” said Benitez. “I think he [Walters] was unlucky but still we were there, we had a player behind so if he didn’t score maybe it could be our player scoring.

“He is a great player for them, I have watched a lot of games here and he is a fantastic player for them.”