Stoke fans have been having their say on their team’s 1-1 draw at Reading as City returned to action for the first time in three months.
Stoke looked in trouble when Lucas Joao put the hosts in front in the seventh minute, an early blow in an unconvincing first half performance from Michael O’Neill’s side.
But City came back into the game as O’Neill made changes in the second half – and were rewarded two minutes into injury time when Nick Powell headed home from a corner.
Fans who have commented on our dedicated Stoke City facebook page have praised the manager for making changes, and mentioned James McClean and Sam Vokes in particular for making an impact off the bench.
Chris Winfield said: “Square pegs in round holes in the first half, the introduction of McClean and Vokes made the difference, Vokes’ hold up play is brilliant and allows players to get up the pitch and McClean grabs the game by the horns.”
Matt Robinson added: “Not a great performance in the first half but I thought we were better when Vokes came on.
“I don’t think we should be too harsh because it was the first game back. What I like was that they kept going and got their rewards. This was a game that would have been over before O’Neill came in. There’s a lot more to come and will be better for getting 90 mins.”
Kevan Astley was also impressed by James McClean: “Good point, very rusty indeed. McClean made a difference when he came on. Seen enough to think we are safe.”
On the theme of changing the game with substitutes, Alan Davies said: “Fair play to the manager, it wasn’t working and he threw the kitchen sink at it.
“Not a great performance, but given the disruption due to the manager being in isolation all last week that’s a good point. He does seem to have got some much needed resilience and stamina into the side; not for the first time we’ve grabbed a critical goal at the death. A win against Boro next week and we will be looking good….”
Alan Brenton was also impressed by Stoke’s resilience. He said: “92nd minute equaliser says a great deal about the mentality of the team compared to the recent past. Reading have been decent recently. Point away will do nicely!”
Lyndon Ryder added: “Good result in the end. It was a fair result. We created a couple of chances and so did Reading. We were the away side and I would have taken a point before the game. We move on.”
Pablo George says there is still plenty to work on. He said: “We lack tempo in our play. When you play against 4-4-2 with a disciplined two banks of four, you need to move the ball quickly left and right to pull the defence out of shape and create gaps and then be incisive with forward passes.
“It’s been a feature of our play that is frustrating for some time!”