Three points made all the more crucial by other results at the bottom of the Championship.
Stoke City had to work hard for their money against Cardiff, eventually securing a 2-0 win thanks to a Callum Paterson own goal and close range finish from Joe Allen.
They limited Cardiff to few clear chances and defended set pieces and long throws well, especially considering the reaction for the four they conceded a week previously at Queens Park Rangers.
Michael O’Neill had kept faith with the same team from Loftus Road and fans have been having their say on that decision, the performance and a result that keeps the club three points clear of the drop zone.
Matt Morris: Fair play to Michael O’Neill, he stuck his ****s on the line with his teamsheet. If we lost today, he had no where to hide. Brave man and had more confidence in them than any fan who saw that line-up. Game management and subs bang on too.
Andrew Lees: Excellent hard-working performance, deserved win. Defence totally justified manager’s faith. Great performance from Clucas.
Michael Currell: A good day for Stoke City. Three points and Imbula ****** off!
Wizards of Drivel: Nick Powell the Crewe Cantona continues to be the focal point of the team even when shunted out onto the wing. Now please say a prayer over your nearest biscuit that he stays fit until the end of the season.
Rob Doolan: That’ll do, pigs. Sometimes all you have to do is ‘enough’, and that’s what Stoke did today. In the context of an opponent on a good run and the need to atone for a couple of bad results of our own, we did what we had to, if no more than that.
Jeremy Leese: Clucas wide left, Powell inside him seems more logical. Thompson edgy to start with, but grew into the role. I think there’s a player in there destined to be far more useful to us over the long term than the one we have just sent to Russia with gloves. Far more bite at the back too.
Ant Bunn: Very solid display. Back four like a different back four. Jack Butland fine. Lost today and that would have been catastrophic with those results. Powell’s drag back……see ya.
Neil James: Really surprised by how poor Cardiff were. Considering they’re play-off contenders and only came down last year, it has to be said they were absolutely ****. Must have caught them on an off day?
Russell Dutton: Let’s be honest we probably would have made changes today but the players picked again have rewarded MON with absolute stroll of a victory. Our goal was never in a shred of danger. Massive game next week now, we can afford to lose it but if we win it my word things will look good.
Matt: Jordan Thompson looks a very promising young player. deliveries were great today. not scared to tackle! Great lad too.
Wayne Thomas: Good performance by Stoke today! Deserved the win, it’s getting really tight at the bottom. Thompson, Clucas, Ince and Powell all worked hard and stood out and the other players did their jobs. Pick up a point at Blackburn on Wednesday now.