Pieters admits World Cup dream is unlikely

Stoke City defender Erik Pieters has not given up hope of earning a place in the Netherlands squad for the FIFA World Cup.

Pieters scored his first goal for Stoke in their 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday, the club's fourth win in five matches.

The 25-year-old has 17 senior international caps for Netherlands to his name, although he has not featured for his country since a 2-0 friendly win over China last June.

He knows a call-up to Louis van Gaal's 23-man squad for the World Cup is unlikely, but is still keeping his fingers crossed.

"Of course I have one eye on the World Cup, but that might just be to watch it on the 'telly' I think," Pieters told The Stoke Sentinel.

"We've got four matches to go. I will give everything in these last four games and see if I will either go on holiday or to the World Cup."

The left-back was delighted to contribute in an attacking sense for Stoke, and is hoping to add to his tally in the final four games of the season after getting one over good friend Krul.

"Everyone knows he's (Krul) my best friend in football, so it was really good to score my first goal – and a great goal as well – against him," Pieters added.

"We're still friends, I think. He looked a bit disappointed. Now I want five goals before the end of the season.

"I like to attack but the main thing is to defend, to keep clean sheets and I want to keep doing that over the next four games."