If Michael O’Neill thinks he’s probably been on Tyrese Campbell’s case over the last 12 months, it’s probably been worth it.
Campbell, whose contract had been due to expire last summer, had seemed certain to leave when O’Neill was appointed manager a year ago this weekend.
Instead, he has become an increasingly integral part of Stoke’s plans and developed into creator and team heartbeat as well as natural scorer.
The 20-year-old scored his fourth in nine starts and four sub appearances this season when he played a leading role in a 3-0 win at Reading today. He has also chipped in with five assists.
O’Neill won’t let up in trying to coax out all his potential… but it’s clear he’s very pleased with how his star asset is coming along.
The manager said: “He’s developed a lot and there’s a lot more to go still.
“Tye has got fantastic natural attributes in terms of his speed, his physicality and he’s a great finisher. Those are three boxes to tick.
“He needs to find a little bit more in certain areas and I’m constantly at him but it’s terrific to see him progress.
“We’ve found a way to get him into the team as a wide forward, not a winger, a wide attacking threat.
“I don’t think he’s ready to play as a lone striker but when he plays up with Fletch (Steven Fletcher), he seems to enjoy it as well.
“I’m delighted with the progress he’s made.”