Regular football was hard to come by after his first full season, but a move to Stoke City proved a productive one and he played 16 times for the Potters in The Championship during the 2004/5 season.
In 2005/6 he was a mainstay of the Stoke side making 36 appearances in all competitions at the Britannia Stadium, as City finished in a solid mid-table position.
He was to suffer an injury setback when his career was just about to take off, and following a back operation he missed almost the entirety of the 2006/7 season. He only appeared fleetingly after successfully recovering from his injury and in 2008 he moved to Sheffield Wednesday where his career began an upward trend.
He initially moved to Hillsborough on loan and impressed sufficiently to earn a permanent deal. He made his debut for the Owls in a South Yorkshire derby against Barnsley and went on to play 33 times for Wednesday as they finished mid-table.
He played a healthy number of games the following season but couldn’t prevent Wednesday from being relegated from The Championship. He stayed with the Owls and two years later was rewarded as he played a major role in the promotion as runners up in League One.
It was a successful return to the second tier and he played 44 times in total, his best return of appearances to date.
Injuries restricted him last season but he was back fully fit for the conclusion of the campaign, regaining his place in the Owls starting 11.