Alex Neil sends a’strong’ warning as he claims that Stoke are ‘only going to get better’ after third win in a week…

Alex Neil claims the last seven days have shown what his Stoke side are capable of in the remainder of the Sky Bet Championship season.

Alex Neil is optimistic about Stoke’s prospects in the Sky Bet Championship season after a successful week that saw his team secure three consecutive wins. Despite a slow start to the campaign, Stoke has come alive with recent victories over Sunderland, Leeds, and Middlesbrough.

Their most recent triumph was a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, with first-half goals scored by Michael Rose and Mehdi Leris. This victory propelled Stoke into the top half of the table, and Neil believes the team will continue to improve as their summer signings become more integrated.

Neil stated, “I think the last three results and performances show where we could get to. It shows the potential. I think we look relatively settled now in terms of how we’re going to play, and we’ve managed to churn out three great performances and three great results in a row. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves – I think there’s been too many false dawns at Stoke, but I think, for us, we’ve got great potential and great scope. We’re only going to get better, and I’m expecting us to be good this season.”

Stoke had to secure their latest victory without goalkeeper Mark Travers, who was recalled by his parent club Bournemouth due to an injury to their first-choice Neto. Neil expressed disappointment, saying, “We’re gutted. You want as many strong players in your squad as you can. To lose Trav is hugely disappointing, especially because I thought he was coming on to a great game just before he left. He was feeling at ease at the club. It’s only just into double figures of games that he’s played for us, but unfortunately he’s had to go back. That’s a blow, but football’s always challenging somewhere along the line.”

Middlesbrough found themselves playing catch-up after Michael Rose scored from a corner in the eighth minute, and Mehdi Leris added another goal eight minutes before half-time. Although Josh Coburn hit the crossbar with a long-range shot, Middlesbrough couldn’t match the standards they had set during their previous seven-game winning streak.

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Middlesbrough’s manager, Michael Carrick, acknowledged the disappointment, saying, “It’s disappointing. You’ve got to put things into perspective as well though. They are a good team, and if you are a little bit off, then you get punished in this league.

It just shows the levels that it takes to win games and look like you’re winning well. We were just a little bit off it really, from the start you could just feel we weren’t quite there. Even then, at half-time, I thought we finished the half well enough where there was enough in it there to have a real good go in the second half. It just didn’t really materialize in the end.

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