Injuries hurt us.

The faster we move on from last nights result the better, thank god the next game is only on Saturday.

The result versus Preston was not a fair reflection of the game, but that’s been Stoke’s problem for a vast amount of the season so far.

First half Stoke dominated the game & nobody in the Preston camp could of complained if they went into the break two or three nil down. Second half though things started to swing more to a level game. Preston got a foothold in the midfield though judging by the news Clucas was carrying an injury that could explain it a bit.

What really hurt Stoke was the injury to James McClean, it wasn’t him going off but who came on for him. Was this Michael O’Neill first tactical mistake since his appointment. Bringing on Sam Vokes instead of Verlinden cost Stoke in my opinion. Tyrese Campbell was a menace all the first half, his pace was causing the Preston back line all kinds of problems. When Vokes came on and Campbell moved out to the left wing, that threat diminished allowing Preston to push further up on to our midfield.   

Preston somehow are battling for Promotion, judging by the performances versus Stoke this season it’s hard to see why, as in neither game they have been the better side but Stoke have gifted them 5 goals by poor mistakes. Hopefully Stoke can get back to winning ways against QPR, though that won’t be easy as we don’t travel well to the capital.

Who starts in the left wing is now a concern for O’Neil with Verlinden almost certain to miss the game & McClean a doubt too.

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