Is Tom Ince what we need on the left wing
There is no doubt that Ince has ability, it the way he uses it more to the point his decision making that lets him down.
Most of his decision making is down to his major flaw, the fact he has no right foot. In fact a bloke behind me yesterday at the game started calling him long john silver.
Ince’s incessant cutting back after beefing his man to get it on his left foot is allowing time for defenders to get back into positions and then double up on him which he doesn’t have the power to deal with and we lose possession
Not only that our attackers are anticipating the cross so when he cuts back & does cross the ball our attackers have already checked their run so have a standing jump to try to score from.
Would changing Ince to the left help?
That would mean either dropping McClean or putting him on the right. McClean despite what people think of him has been one of our better players this season, without him and Clucas virtually non of our goals so far would of happened.
Nathan Jones saw the problems Ince’s inclusion include the right was causing the team, he played him as a ten in a few games. Ince was anonymous when there.
Is a new Right Winger a must in January to go with the Left Back?
Michael O’Neill Press conference for the game versus Reading
We were pleased with a lot of aspects of the game on Tuesday. We scored three good goals as a result of the preparation we did beforehand. The clean sheet was another positive for everyone. Work still needs to be done
Reading play differently to Luton so they will pose different problems. The focus has to be on ourselves however.
We set the bar high on Tuesday night in terms of intensity and that’s the level we need to maintain.
Prospect of facing Charlie Adam
I know Charlie Adam well and played with his dad at Dundee United. I’m sure he will receive a good reception. He has a great range of passing.
O’Neill on his best team
I’m getting closer to knowing what my best team is there’s no doubt about that. What type of players I need now and in the future may change so opportunities for others will be there especially with so many games coming quickly
Jordan Cousins Performance
I was delighted with Jordan Cousins on Tuesday. He’s not had much of a chance since I’ve come in but he has trained tremendously and warranted his chance. He is strong, a good runner and uses the ball well. He typifies what we want from players not currently in the side.
We’re in a situation where players will have to leave so we can bring others in. January is always a difficult window. Typically you’re looking at younger players at bigger clubs looking for an opportunity.
I don’t intend on spending as much as other before me have. We still have players out on loan that can potentially come back. We have a large squad that needs to be reduced so we can add younger players and ones with pace.
We are fine injury wise other than Ryan Shawcross who picked up a groin injury on Tuesday though it’s not a bad injury & could be back playing before new year.
Match Preview: Stoke Versus Reading
This game became more interesting since Mark Bowen sacked the manager then employed himself in the role, on the Sh*thouse scale that’s right near the top.
Believe it or not, Stoke have only ever played Reading 50 times before, which came as a surprise to me.
Stoke wins 18
Reading wins 17
Last meeting between the sides
Stoke 0-0 Reading, in fact 3 of the last 5 games have ended in a draw if anyone wants to bet on that result. Stoke’s last loss to Reading was a 3-1 way result back in 2006
Stoke 3-0 Luton
Hull 2-1 Stoke
Stoke 1-2 Blackburn
Barnsley 1-1 Reading
Reading 2-3 Birmingham
Wigan 1-3 Reading
Charlie Adam if he plays would love to get one over the club that let him leave, a shot from his own half is a certainty if he plays.
John Swift is having another good season, he has 6 assists to his name so far and according to Opta he is one of the top rated midfielders in the league.
Reading start the game 5 points & 4 places above the Potters, so another win like that against Luton would be welcomed to bring another side within touching distance.
Mark Bowen has a lot to answer for, backing Mark Hughes even though he downed tools & bringing Kevin Wimmer to Stoke. Let’s hope Stoke give him the result he deserves for that.
Can Stoke make it 4 wins in 7 games under Michael O’Neill?
Have Stoke got enough quality to avoid relegation
Simple answer is YES
Whether Michael O’Neill can get that quality playing in a way that shows its strengths without highlighting its weaknesses is the question.
O’Neill has managed to lead Stoke to 3 wins out of 6 games, with a 50% win rate we should be no where near the bottom three come May. Unfortunately the three wins have come against the only 3 sides I’ve witnessed that I can say have looked worse than Stoke in defence.
Luton last night were all over the place, so were Barnsley so I’m pretty sure both of them will fill two of the three relegation spots. Wigan’s problem is they struggle to score, which can be rectified quicker than the problems at Luton & Barnsley so still have a chance of saving themselves.
Stoke’s biggest problem is belief, the side is so devoid of confidence it’s inhibiting our own play. This was highlighted in Stoke’s play last night, until we scored it was all very slow and lifeless. Every player not wanting to move out of position incase a mistake is made and the side are left open. As soon as we scored which was from a mistake from Luton we opened up and should & could of had 6 goals in the game.
Confidence of a win, especially a run of wins is vitally needed, pity we can’t play Luton every week.
Bring on Bowen & his Reading side, we want to punish him for bringing Wimmer to Stoke
Match Preview: Stoke v Luton
Well at the start of the season we were looking forward to this match more than most, unfortunately Nathan Jones did not last long enough to face his former side.
Stoke versus Luton is a fixture that’s not come around often, in fact there has only been 42 meeting.
Stoke fair better in the tussle winning 17 of the 42 games with Luton only winning 11
Stoke are unbeaten in the last 6 games & have only lost 2 of the last 14.
Stoke’s last fixture with Luton was back in 2015 in the league cup. The game ended 1-1 but Stoke prevailed 8-7 on penalties.
Hull 2-1 Stoke
Stoke 1-2 Blackburn
Cardiff 1-0 Stoke
Luton 2-1 Wigan
Brentford 7-0 Luton
Luton 2-1 Charlton.
Isaiah Brown is a 22 year old midfielder who has 6 assists to his name this season. A lot of Luton’s good play is a result of Isaiah so it’s imperative we keep him quiet.
Luton start the game 3 places and 6 points above Stoke so it’s as big of a game as Stoke have faced so far, it’s inconceivable to think of being 9 points behind a side who many had as odds on for relegation at the start of the season.
What do you expect from the game