Alex Neil discusses worrying injury news and makes ‘vitally important’ comment after Stoke City draw with Coventry…

Stoke City’s goalless draw with Coventry at the CBS Arena left manager Alex Neil acknowledging that his team failed to secure three points, extending their undefeated streak to five matches and maintaining a clean sheet for 440 minutes. Neil emphasized the importance of belief when not losing games, echoing the sentiment of ‘If you can’t win, don’t lose.’

Despite a livelier second half with numerous half chances, neither side managed to test the opposition keeper significantly. Stoke’s recent defensive prowess was highlighted, having gone four matches without conceding, a rare feat for the team. Neil underlined the significance of understanding the opponent’s determination, noting Coventry’s recent struggles.

Neil acknowledged the game’s back-and-forth nature, especially after a referee change, creating a more open and free-flowing match. He expressed a preference for such a style of play. However, the lack of a decisive moment of quality to unlock the opposition’s defense was evident, resulting in a stalemate.

Reflecting on Stoke’s defensive improvement, Neil highlighted the importance of consistency and an unchanged lineup. With four consecutive clean sheets, a rare achievement for the team, Neil emphasized the need for aggression and quality in their game. He mentioned adjustments in positioning, pushing Ki-Jana Hoever higher up the pitch and adopting a more attacking approach.

While Neil acknowledged Stoke’s offensive threat in terms of player volume, he noted a deficiency in choosing the right options. He expressed the desire for a player to produce a moment of quality, which was lacking for both teams in this encounter. Despite the goalless draw, Neil emphasized the team’s commitment to seeking a goal rather than adopting a defensive approach.

In summary, Neil recognized the importance of belief and consistency, highlighted Stoke’s defensive improvement, and pointed out the need for a decisive moment of quality in their attacking play. The match ended in a stalemate, but Stoke’s approach remained focused on seeking goals rather than shutting up shop.




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