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Archive for January, 2020

Press Conference: Michael O’Neill answers questions for the Derby game

Michael O’Neill faces the press, answering questions for the Derby Game.

The results during this week show what this league is like. Everyone is fighting, everyone can beat anyone & are battling for every point like ourselves.

We face a difficult game tomorrow and we won’t become complacent.
Derby County are a good side who are possession-based. We are aware of what the opposition offer, knowing this we know what we need to do to impose our game on them. We need to build upon the level of performances we have produced lately.

Our away support has been terrific in all the games I’ve been here, I don’t see that changing, Given the situation we are in – trying to move away from the bottom of the table – the fans have a huge part to play. It’s important we build a good relationship between the players and fans.

Transfer deadline day

Possibly 1 or 2 who haven’t been involved may head out on loan. We don’t envisage anyone leaving from the core group we’ve worked with for slightly longer than a month now. We are looking at options to add but it won’t be anything significant in terms of numbers in or out.


We are fine in terms of injuries apart from Ryan Shawcross & Stephen Ward. Saying that Tyrese Campbell won’t be ready for the game. He’s still not quite right.

Match Preview: Wayne Rooney FC v Stoke City FC

Match Preview:

Stoke take on Wayne Rooney FC in the Friday night game live on sky sports. 
Friday nights game will be the first meeting of the two sides, though Stoke have faced the team formally known as Derby County 132 times in our history.

Historical Results

Stoke wins 40
Derby wins 52
Draws 40

Last 10 results

Recent history is pretty much like the overall history of the fixture, nothing really to separate the two sides with both winning 4 and drawing 2.


Stoke City FC

Stoke 2-0 Swansea
WBA 0-1 Stoke
Stoke 0-0 Millwall

Wayne Rooney FC

Luton 3-2 Wayne Rooney FC
Wayne Rooney FC 1-0 Hull
Middlesbrough 2-2 Wayne Rooney FC

Wayne Rooney FC currently sit in 16th place in the Championship just 6 points ahead of the Potters, a win over them would close Stoke right up to the pack above and open up an eight point gap to the relegation zone prior to the Saturday kick offs.

Players to look out for

Funnily enough as their name says, their best player is Wayne Rooney his recent addition to the playing squad coincided with an upturn in result for his side. Prior to Wayne signing the former Derby county were not just a one man team with the likes of Coldplay’s front man Chris Martin & Martin Waghorn scoring the goals.

Derby are having a torrid season off the pitch with Richard Keogh getting sacked for being a passenger in a car but the driver still keeping his job. Not only that the club are under investigation over the sale of the clubs ground to the owner to try and bypass FFP rules, if this doesn’t go the way Derby want them they could end up bottom of the league with a points deduction looming.

Over 3000 Stoke fans in attendance are wanting a win but….


Micah Richards: Don’t pick me

Micah Richards asked about which team he hated to play against most in the Sunday Times newspaper

I used to hate to play against Stoke. The fans were brilliant, it was so hard to play there.

It was always cold and windy at their stadium and you knew you were in for a game.

Stoke were cynical with their fouls, they would kick you but you’d never get given a foul.

I would actually be thinking don’t pick me for this game, I’ve never felt like that in my career.

What a transformation by O’Neill

What has Michael O’Neill brought to Stoke to warrant the transformation

When O’Neill was appointed Stoke sat bottom of the league with just 2 wins all season, we now sit 19th with 9 wins.

O’Neill has done this without adding a single player to the ranks as recent new signing Jordan Thompson hasn’t kicked a ball in anger yet.

Journalists & broadcaster Colin Murrey said at the time of O’Neill appointment. Michael O’Neill doesn’t have 1 ‘style’ – he manages what he has + gets best out of them. Tactically, for NI, he’s been great. Not afraid to make changes, and if u don’t give 100 per cent you WILL NOT PLAY. For us, he inspired pride, on + off pitch.

All of What Colin said is true, we have shown at times we can control the game and other times we have allowed opposing teams to control and we counter. He has got players working for each other and those not willing to give 100% have not played, in some cases been shown the door.

As I’ve said myself on social media Can you imagine what Michael O’Neill could do if he was allowed to spend the £50 odd million Rowett did or the amount of players Jones did. He changed us completely by just teaching the players their jobs

What do you expect for the rest of the season

Michael O’Neill press conference for Swansea game

Michael O’Neill answered questions for tomorrow’s game versus Swansea

When you look back you never find the perfect performance, you’re always striving for better. I felt if we had taken control of the game a little better we would have created similar opportunities to the only goal which we scored.

Swansea City are a good team with some decent young players. We will have to be disciplined in our play but also look to make our own pressure count.

We have situations where players haven’t played and it would be in their best interests to move on and they know that. We have looked at opportunities to bring players in, but equally, if the window shuts without us bringing anyone in, we would be happy with what we’ve got.


Tyrese Campbell won’t be fit for tomorrow. We are optimistic he may be fit for Derby County. Ryan Shawcross is also unavailable for tomorrow. Nick Powell is fine.

We have been fairly good with injuries and touch wood that continues. We have 18 games to go and each one of them will be physically demanding but I think we have done well with managing that to date.

We work hard defensively as a team out of possession. It’s not the easiest work to do but important. The players have been responsive to it. As a unit the team have become stronger.

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