‘A question for the manager’ – Josh Tymon on his position, boring life and Nick Powell


Self-proclaimed boring Josh Tymon is living and playing with a spring in his step after revitalising his Stoke City career under Michael O’Neill

Tymon joined Stoke from Hull as a highly-rated England youth international in the summer of 2017 but a succession of changes in manager and the club’s form made it difficult to make a breakthrough.

But a game-changing cameo at Nottingham Forest on the final day of last season – his second Stoke appearance of the campaign – seemed to change everything.

The 21-year-old has been a fixture in the squad this term, used in four positions including on the left wing in Saturday’s win over Luton Town.

“I’m over the moon to be honest,” he said in an interview with Lee Blakeman on Radio Stoke.

“It’s not just myself, it’s family and friends. I feel much better. I really knuckled down after lockdown and said I was going to give this a real good chance, not that I wasn’t doing it before. I just think it was tough with keeping changing managers.

“I think just after lockdown there was something in my mind set that just changed and after the Forest game it was the same. I went into the season fully committed, fully focused to make sure I went into the new season a real good one for myself personally.

“It affects me off the pitch too. I’m in a much better mood all the time. I’m enjoying this season under the manager, under the new set of players we’ve got.

“It’s a much better feeling going into work every day knowing that you could be playing on the Saturday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m really happy and hope it continues.”

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Tymon has also played at left-back, wing-back and on the left of a midfield three and he insists he doesn’t have a preference – or know which one is his best.

“I’m not sure, I think it might be a question for the manager,” he said.

“I remember sitting down with him early in the season and he mentioned that he thought I could play in numerous positions and he wanted me to try it and see if I was open to it. It was completely fine with me, if I could add another position to my CV it was going to be good for me in the long run.

“It’s good to have versatility in the team… and if I had to say my best I couldn’t tell you. I think that’s what the manager thinks too.

“I enjoy every single one; left-back, left wing, wing-back or in a central midfield role. I’m just enjoying football to be honest.”

Two wins on the bounce have followed a run of nine games without victory, leaving Stoke ninth and four points off the top six ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Barnsley.

Tymon said: “It’s been a real group effort from all the lads to try to turn it around and I’ve been lucky enough to come into the team. I know against Sheffield Wednesday I came on due to Morgan getting injured but we finally got that win.

“The game on Saturday was a really enjoyable game to be part of and another win. That’s two on the spin now and I think if we can get another on Wednesday… you know what the Championship is like, things can really look up for us again.”

Key to that is probably Nick Powell, who has found top form particularly since the turn of the year.

The playmaker, who has also been used in different roles, has scored five times in his last six appearances.

Tymon said: “I was lucky enough to first see Nick when I was 16 at Hull when he came on loan from Man Utd. I remember training with him one session thinking, ‘Who is this player?’

“Some of the stuff he was doing where he was so laid back was mind blowing. When I found out he was signing for Stoke, I knew what he was capable of. He’s always had it in his locker and I’m glad that now everyone is seeing that he’s one of the most important players not just in our team but in the full league. I think he’s right up there.

“He’s a good guy. I’ve got a really good relationship. He’s just really relaxed like he is on the football pitch, easy going. He’s probably looking after his kids all the time, that’s probably why you can’t get him on to do interviews.

“He’s great to have in the dressing room and a fantastic player as well.”

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It seemed Tymon might have been heading out on a loan of his own in January, when Shrewsbury were among clubs who were keen.

He had already spent time at MK Dons and Famalicao, in Portugal, and was keen to get game time – but O’Neill wanted to keep him and Tymon was happy to fight for his place.

It has been a tricky period, with injury and positive Covid test too, even if he admits lockdown isn’t having too much of an impact on his social life.

He said: “It was a bit of a weird one really because I hit by Covid which isn’t easy and picked up a little groin injury before then. There were players coming back from injury so I knew it was going to be hard to get back into the team regardless of if we were winning or losing.

“I’m at an age when I have to fight for a place, I can’t just walk into a team. I know that how this manager works you earn your place in the team by training right and doing everything right.

“(The loan interest) came out of the blue really. I spoke to my people about Shrewsbury and spoke to the manager at Stoke and at first he understood that I wanted to go out and play games – but he’s always said from the first day of pre-season this year that the shirt is there for me to go and grab it.

“I had that chat with him on deadline day and he said he wanted me to stay because he felt I could play a lot more games for him and the team. Luckily in the last two I have done and hopefully I can build on that and get many more before the season ends.”

He added: “I live a pretty boring life anyway, regardless of Covid. I come home and just relax on my own really. It was just a trip to the supermarket when I think I got it. For the full isolation I didn’t have any kind of symptoms.

“It wasn’t ideal to miss training but it’s one of those things at the moment.”





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