Michael O’Neill makes admission over Stoke City promotion credentials | OneFootball
Michael O’Neill makes admission over Stoke City promotion credentials
Football League World
Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has suggested that he believes his side can maintain their form and push for promotion from the Championship this season.
The Potters have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign and they put down another strong marker of their potential promotion credentials when they picked up a 1-0 win against previously unbeaten West Brom before the international break.
O’Neill’s side are currently inside the top-six in the Championship and they have only suffered two defeats in their opening 11 league matches. That has given the Potters a lot of momentum and belief to take back into the campaign now that the international break has come to an end.
Stoke take on Sheffield United on Saturday aiming to continue their momentum and it will not be an easy fixture considering the quality that the Blades have within their squad. It will therefore be another real test of their credentials.
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Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel ahead of Stoke’s clash with Sheffield United, O’Neill insisted that he is confident that the Potters have the character and quality in their squad to keep performance levels going throughout the campaign.
He said: “That’s the nature of the league. Can you maintain that? How long can you stay unbeaten? How many points can you get in three-game weeks? If you lose a game can you bounce back quickly?
“Those are all the things you need to have in this league and I think we’re showing a lot of that side of things in terms of not only our quality of play but our character in games.
“We’re going to need that throughout the season to be at the level it’s at and more.
“I still believe there is more in terms of our level of performance but a lot of the things we’re doing, we’re working very hard on the training pitch to make sure we maintain possession, build the game, have a good structure in our play and the most pleasing aspect is that players are trying desperately hard to try to replicate that on a match day.
“We’re seeing that with the consistent level of performance.”
Stoke have made a very strong start to the season there is no doubt about that. The Potters seem to be in a position where they can mount a major promotion challenge if they can avoid any massive injury setbacks and keep their form going.
O’Neill is right to have confidence in his side’s mentality and character because getting as many points on the board as they have done already at this stage is not something that you can do without having an excellent spirit within your dressing room.
Over the last few years, Stoke have never really put themselves in a position where they can challenge for promotion in the later stages of the season. This term things look different and there is something new about the squad in terms of the belief they have.