Challenge set for Stoke City’s goal-hungry Nick Powell


Michael O’Neill is still looking at Nick Powell’s potential as the forward enjoys perhaps the best season of his career.

Powell has found top gear particularly since the turn of the year, scoring six times in nine appearances after a chance to rest bumps and bruises for a week while Stoke City were in FA Cup action.

The 26-year-old is hoping to be fit to play through a groin injury against Wycombe (3pm) and O’Neill said: “I think he’s enjoying his football. He’s arguably, possibly having as good a season as he’s had in his career, really.

“I always feel there’s more to come from Nick. It’s a discussion we have regularly! He’s got 11 goals now and I would expect him to add to that between now and the end of the season.

“The good thing for me is his versatility. We’ve played him as a number 10, on the left of a front three, as an eight in a midfield three and against Watford we played him as a number nine.

“That’s a lot to deal with a player and it shows the quality that Nick has and the physical attributes to be able to play in all those positions and play as well as he has and contribute as much as he has.

“We’ve just got to continue to get as much out of him as possible and he has to continue to do that also.”


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Powell’s goal threat has been capped by a happy knack of being able to win the ball back in the opposition half and, more importantly, being able to make the most of that.

“He’s got good game intelligence, he can read where the pass may or may not go and shuts off angles well,” said O’Neill.

“The good thing about it is, you get some players who can win the ball back but then unfortunately aren’t particularly great at using it, Nick is extremely good at using it well and hurting the opposition.

“It’s excellent that Nick can win the ball back and that’s been a big part of his game this season.”





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