Zak's glad to be back at Stoke
Gabriel Zakuani explains why he's back on loan at the Britannia Stadium after spending pre-season back with Fulham in his brand new www.icons.com diary.
'I'd just been through pre-season with Fulham so I was feeling pretty fit, but it was all a bit hectic and I'm really pleased with the way the game went and how I performed. After being here for a while last season it was nice to come back.
'Last year there was a very experienced team and a back-four that knew each other really well. This year at 21 I think I'm one of the more experienced players and people are looking to me for advice.'
Zakuani also outlines his ambitions for the season ahead:
'The object this year has to be to make one of the play-off places at least. Last year the charge came towards the end of the season but it was too little, too late. We'd already thrown away too many games by conceding late on and that is something we will be working on this year.
'We want to be within striking distance of the play-off spots all season and give ourselves a proper chance to push on when we need to.
'I'm enjoying being back in Stoke and although it's a bit quieter than I'm used to it's a really nice area and I'm settling in well. The people are really friendly and it's a great place to play football.'
For the full interview, please go to www.icons.com