Honest admission from Stoke City star after Luton sucker punch



Sam Vokes was left cursing how his seventh goal of the season didn’t turn out to be a vital winner for Stoke City.

Vokes marked his return to the starting XI by getting a ninth-minute opener at Luton Town and for 80 minutes it seemed it would seal three points.

But a late, late sucker punch saw Callum McManaman adjudged to have been fouled by James Chester and James Collins send Jack Butland the wrong way from the penalty spot to equalise.

Players, fans and coaches were gutted but left wondering if they could have approached the second-half differently to see out the match.

“We’re disappointed of course,” said Vokes. “I think when you take it that far, to the 89th minute or whatever it was, there is always disappointment.

“I thought our first-half performance was very strong. We’re probably a bit disappointed with our second half performance. I think we sat back a bit too deep and probably invited them on a bit too much.

“In saying that, defensively we looked strong and didn’t really look like we were going to concede and that’s where the disappointment is, when you concede a late penalty like that.”

Vokes was handed his first start since a defeat at Derby on January 31 as Michael O’Neill rested Tyrese Campbell.

And he pounced to touch home a cross-shot from Tommy Smith that was whipped through a crowded area, celebrating with the 1,040 Stoke fans packed into the away end behind the goal.

“I thought we started the game very strongly,” said the 30-year-old.

“We took it to them from the first minute and getting that goal summed up how we were playing at that minute. I thought we had created some good chances, probably could have created a few more and when we go 1-0 up keep on with that.

“It’s something we need to learn from really and get the goals when we’re on top, which is how we let them in at the end. We could have probably got ourselves more in the lead.

“But it’s one of those, we’ve come away with a point and there’s disappointment when you concede that late.”

Stoke had been as high as 17th in the as-it-stands league table but they ended up finishing the day 21st and behind Huddersfield, Hull, Charlton and Wigan Athletic in a terrifyingly close relegation dog fight.

They could be pulled back into the bottom three if Middlesbrough win their game in hand at home against Nottingham Forest – but there are 10 games remaining and the situation is still in Stoke’s own hands, particularly because their next five games are against other teams in the bottom nine.

Vokes said: “When we’re on top we probably need to put teams to the sword, score a second and a third and see games out, which is how we let teams in it when we’re only 1-0 up.

“I actually thought our defensive performance was strong enough to see the game out but it wasn’t to be in the end.

“Although we were strong defensively, we invited them a little bit too much and didn’t take it to them enough in the second half as we had done in the first.

“But although we are disappointed we are unbeaten in the week. We would have liked to have had seven points out of the week but five points with two on the road is not too bad.”





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *