He walked tall – Player ratings from Stoke City stalemate with Blackburn Rovers


Michael O’Neill made just the one change to the Stoke line up, but a significant change, after calling up teenager Nathan Collins to the heart of his defence.

Collins replaced James Chester at centre half after O’Neill considered this a game too far for the Welsh international after so much game time since joining Stoke from Aston Villa.

Here’s how we rated Collins and Co…

BUTLAND: Important save at the resumption and never really looked like getting beat after that 7

SMITH: A couple of important interventions when it mattered to help usher in that clean sheet 7

MARTINS INDI: Was in no mood to let Blackburn impose themselves down his side of the pitch7

BATTH: Applied a firm head to most things, quite superbly at times, and deservedly walked tall at the final whistle 8

COLLINS: Surprise call up, but with the help of Batth he kept a lid on things and rarely, if ever, looked flustered 7

Pressure on

THOMPSON: Can pick a pass, and a quick one at that, as he produced another efficient offering 6

ALLEN: Tried to enliven the play and took more than his fair share of knocks along the way 7

CLUCAS: Never quite at his best, but kept plugging away to ensure no mishaps at the wrong end 6

INCE: Put in a shift without ever quite putting the wind up the opposition 6

CAMPBELL: Just not his night and didn’t look too disappointed to be taken off 5

POWELL: Prepared to put himself around again and not afraid to take the odd pop on goal 7

SUBS:

GREGORY (for Campbell,72):  Never quite picked up the pace of the game 5

COUSINS (for Thompson,76): Fresh legs to shore things up late in the day 5

CHESTER (for Powell,89): Thrown on to preserve clean sheet 5

Subs not used: Davies, Vokes, Diouf, Oakley-Boothe.





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