O’Neill explains team selection for Rams clash
Michael O’Neill explained the thinking behind his team selection for Saturday’s goalless draw between Stoke City and Derby County.
Potters boss O’Neill was forced into three changes for the trip to Pride Park from the side that lost to Cardiff City in midweek because of injury to Tyrese Campbell and with James McClean suspended.
Tommy Smith was also left out meaning Steve Fletcher, Jordan Cousins and Harry Souttar came in.
“We’ve obviously had to have Fletcher start, he’s not really trained since he injured his knee against Norwich,” O’Neill added.
“Thompson, four-and-a-half weeks out with very little training and Souttar after a two-week period of self-isolation.
“It’s not ideal really, but as I say, the squad has been stretched with the injuries we have.”
Scores on the doors from Derby draw
Josef Bursik – 8
Kicking suspect at times but made a couple of fine saves with Clarke’s header the pick of the bunch.
Nathan Collins – 6
Had a job on against Jozwiak and did well. Ventured forward rarely.
James Chester – 7
Excellent goal-line block to deny Kazim-Richards.
Harry Souttar – 6
Steady performance on his return to the side.
Morgan Fox – 6
Injury scare but needed bandaging up after a clash to his head. Steady.
Jordan Cousins – 6
Saw little of the ball as Derby’s midfield dominated.
Jordan Thompson – 6
Ditto Cousins – couldn’t affect the game too much without the ball but a diligent midfield performance.
Nick Powell – 6
Struggled without any service.
Jacob Brown – 6
Saw little of the ball but did work hard on the wings.
Josh Tymon – 6
Found it tough as Derby dominated the ball.
Steven Fletcher – 6
Can’t do much without the ball, but he did have a chance to score but assumed he was offside and left it alone.
How we saw the game pan out
Stoke were back to their resolute best that saw them record three clean sheets in their last four matches with a goalless draw at Derby.
The Potters have now let in just two goals in their past five matches, both coming in the defeat to Cardiff.
In a game of few chances, the Rams went closest as Stoke lacked an attacking edge as their injury woes continued after Campbell limped out of the Cardiff game with a knee problem.
Read the full report HERE.