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Kenwyne Jones has paid tribute to strike partner Jon Walters for helping fire City to the brink of history.Walters had to prove he could make the step up from the Championship when he signed from Ipswich for £2.75m last summer.

But the 27-year-old has responded with 11 goals to become City's joint-top scorer with Jones.

That has helped Stoke to 10th in the Premier League, the FA Cup final for the first time in their history, and the possibility of playing in a major European competition for the first time since 1974.

Jones says Walters, typifies Stoke's underdog spirit and determination to prove critics wrong.

He said: "I guess Jon fits the bill for Stoke because he has had to put up with the usual headlines that the team gets.

"We have had all these stories about us being underdogs, boring, not so good and whatever.

"But Jon has shown what he is really all about this season.

"He works hard, he gets goals and he is a credit to the team.

"We have the sort of club where everyone helps out. Everyone works hard and everyone goes out there and works for each other.

"Jon is no different. He has been amazing."

Jones and Walters have scored eight goals between them in City's last seven games to help the forward line through an injury-hit spell.

Ricardo Fuller is out for the season after rupturing his Achilles at Aston Villa a fortnight ago.

And Jon Carew only returned to action at Blackpool last weekend after being on the sidelines for seven weeks with a back problem.

Carew's return gives manager Tony Pulis a welcome option up front, particularly as Matthew Etherington is a doubt for the May 14 cup final because of a torn hamstring.

If Etherington doesn't make it, Pulis could play Rory Delap on the left, or move Walters out to that wing and partner Carew with Kenwyne Jones up front – as he did for the closing stages of City's goalless draw at Blackpool.

Meanwhile, Jones is determined to keep the personal issues which affected his form earlier in the season private.

However, he has thanked supporters for sticking by him during his 13-game barren spell.

The 26-year-old has responded with four goals in his last five games, plus some all-action performances to show why Tony Pulis paid a club record £8m to sign him from Sunderland last August.

Jones said: "I would like some things to be left behind the scenes.

"But the Stoke City fans are always great. That is one of the foundations of this club."