Opposition manager’s message to Stoke City’s Nick Powell



Nick Powell’s oldest coach is hoping to see him to unleash his potential at Stoke City this season.

Powell’s progress at Crewe from the age of six until he left for Manchester United at 18 was largely overseen by Neil Critchley, the former Alex Academy director who is now Blackpool manager, coming up against Powell and Stoke at the weekend.

Critchley knows his raw talent and game-changing skill and wants and expects to see it consistently under Michael O’Neill, who is building his team around him.

“It’s great to see Nick,” said Critchley, who moved to Blackpool from a lead role in Liverpool’s Academy just before lockdown.

“I’m delighted when I see the way he plays. I’ve known him since he was six and he’s still the same; an unbelievable player, without doubt one of the best I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching.

“Physically he’s fantastic, he can use both feet and there’s nothing he can’t do with the ball.

“I spoke to Michael before the game and asked him and he spoke very well of him as well. I hope he goes on to have a really good season for Stoke this year. I want to see him do what he should be doing – scoring goals and making a difference.”

Powell, now aged 26, joined Stoke from Wigan in the summer of 2019 but barely featured under the manager who signed him, Nathan Jones.

He came to the fore at the turn of the year when O’Neill tweaked his formation – and never looked back, playing a key role as the side pulled away from the bottom of the Championship.

There is still time for him to get back in the Premier League, however, where he has so far only made a handful of appearances for Man Utd and Leicester City.

“I hope so,” said Critchley. “He’s still young enough, he’s still got years in front of him.

“That’s sometimes the rollercoaster of a football career. It’s probably not gone the way he would have wanted so far but he’s still having a fantastic career, playing at some amazing football clubs.

“Has he got the ambition and hunger to be a success in the Premier League? I don’t work with him every day now but I know the type of boy he was. He absolutely loves football, lives for football and he’ll be wanting to get where probably things he can play.

“I hope he does that, either personally or by getting there with Stoke this season.”

O’Neill will have to call on Jack Butland (back) or Blondy Nna Noukeu in goal as Stoke take on Leeds in a friendly at Clayton Wood today. Adam Davies is on international duty with Wales.





Source link

Leave a Reply

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