‘Gravy’ – What Stoke City stars, management and fans have been saying about birthday-boy Nick Powell


By way of a tribute on his 26th birthday today, we have dug out quotes from various sources, from manager to team-mates to fans, which tell the story of Nick Powell’s first season at Stoke City.

A journey from zero to hero in many ways for the former Manchester United and Crewe playmaker

Tyrese Campbell (Mar 9): “It’s always nice to play with players like Powelly.

“He’s a top player and everyone would want him in their team because he can get you a goal out of nothing.

“As a striker, he’s always looking to find you, so it’s good, definitely.”

Will Meigh, Stoke fan(Mar 7): “Nick Powell is gravy though isn’t he. He’s quickly become a fans’ favourite and one of the main reasons we have a chance of staying up. Baller.”

Michael O’Neill (Feb 23): “He’s surprised me a little bit because you can come in and have a perception of players in terms of what they give to a team.

“Nick’s work rate and his athleticism has been the real surprise for me. What he’s given the team from that aspect has been fantastic.”

Nathan Jones (Feb 22):  “It’s been good for Stoke to have Nick Powell firing. I’ve watched a few of their games lately and he’s started to now click, starting to be the player we signed him for back in June.”

Michael O’Neill (Feb 6): “I think everybody knows the quality Nick has. At times he can be a little bit frustrating, but equally he has that ability to do something that maybe a lot of other players aren’t capable of.”

Michael O’Neill (Jan 7): “I still think he will improve and get better with more games. His final thing is that he’s still a little bit erratic at the minute, but that’s down to game time.”

Michael O’Neill (Jan 6): “…he’s not a lazy player and he has great athleticism.

“The work-rate he put in was terrific (at Brentford), terrific at Huddersfield as well, and you look at his quality, too, and when you combine the two you have a top player.

“I think everyone knows what Nick’s potential is and hopefully we see that going forward at Stoke City because the first part of the season was stop/start with injury initially.”

Michael O’Neill (Nov 25): “He’s still a little bit, I suppose fragile, because he’s had injuries in the early part of the season, but in the game he showed moments of real quality.

“Possibly with Nick he needs to show moments of more consistency in terms of his level of performance. He knows that himself.

“But my job is to get the most out of Nick Powell, and all the players here, and for him it was a good day Saturday.”

Nick Powell in action in a 2-0 win over Cardiff.

Paul Cook, Wigan boss (Nov 22): “He is without doubt one of the most talented players I’ve ever worked with.

“He is an absolute elite level footballer who, for whatever reason – and injuries have played their part – his appearance record over the years probably hasn’t been good enough. That’ll be as disappointing for Nick as much as anyone.

“But in terms of talent…you look at the Championship, and you won’t find a more talented player in this division.”

Steve Wallace, Stoke fan (Oct 29): “He could get injured on A Question Of Sport.”

Nathan Jones (Sep 30): “He gets paid to exert himself, so we hope he does (recover from injury).”

Nathan Jones (Aug 29): “He’s still not quite right. We’ve brought him back and we haven’t pushed him because we know with Nick’s history it’s difficult to push him because we don’t want him breaking down.

“He’s not quite been there, so to put him into an intense game, and Leeds is not a place to go in half-hearted, so we haven’t been able to and we will have to see how he is.”

Paul Hart, asst manager (Aug 9): “He doesn’t moan, he got up and he doesn’t feign injury.

“He got battered from pillar to post (on opening day v QPR), but got up and dealt with it, so credit to him.

“Anybody who can play in that position, or up front, or just off, are courageous people. They have to take some lumps!”

Nick Powell is fouled by Yoann Barbet during Stoke's opening-day defeat by QPR.
Nick Powell is fouled by Yoann Barbet during Stoke’s opening-day defeat by QPR.

Joe Allen (July 30): “He sees things that little bit quicker than most players, so in terms of creating chances and his ability and technique to score goals, he could be great for us and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in a Stoke shirt.

“The game he played here last year for Wigan, he caused us all sorts of problems to be perfectly honest, so it’s nice to have him as a team-mate rather than lining up against him.”

Nathan Jones (July 22): “He’s the type who pleased people and we have to get a real work-rate and desire out of him to fit within our system.

“And then we will give him the platform to be the best player Nick Powell can be for Stoke City.

“For me, he has instantly gained the respect of the players. He’s been superb in every bit of his application and been a joy to work with and you can see he has real, real ability.”

Nathan Jones (June 26): “We identified things we wanted from an attacking midfield player and he was our number one target – but a lot comes with that in terms of the responsibility of playing for Stoke and buying into what we do.

“We had a second meeting with him and he said, ‘Look, if I want an easy ride I’d go elsewhere.’

“So he’s excited about it, he’s going to buy into everything we do and I’m very excited about working with him because he’s a wonderfully talented footballer.”





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