Stoke City supporters hardly waited for the final whistle to blow at Blackburn Rovers before looking ahead to the weekend and beyond – to a huge few weeks for the club.
Stoke played out a rare draw at Ewood Park, their first away draw since Michael O’Neill took charge in November, but the buffer between themselves and the bottom three has been cut to one point due to a win for Wigan at Reading, while Barnsley and Luton have also won in mid-week.
Indeed, only five points separate Wigan in third bottom with Reading in 16th.
O’Neill is now preparing for a trip to Luton on Saturday, followed by clashes with Hull, Reading, Wigan, Middlesbrough and Barnsley – half-a-dozen consecutive matches against teams in the dog fight; six back-to-back six pointers.
Supporters have been having their say.
The Oatcake Fanzine: A poor game, but a hard earned point for Stoke. We grew into the game after a pretty dodgy start, thankful to see the flag go up after Butland’s fumble, but we clearly settled for what we had at half time. Well done to Nathan Collins, the star man at the heart of the defence.
It’s hard not to get despondent after this week’s results, but Hull and possibly even Reading have been dragged into the mix now and we have to play both teams soon, plus other teams at the bottom, starting with Luton on Saturday which is a massive game.
Richard Carter: The form of four of the bottom five Championship clubs has turned it from a four-horse race for relegation only three/four weeks ago into probably a nine-team battle now. Absolutely crazy league.
It’s like watching a marathon for the first 15 miles then a 10-mile sprint finish.
Ant Bunn: Keep seeing folk saying it’s all about our games. It’s not. In a relegation battle it’s about others not winning too. Last few weeks’ results for teams below us have been staggering.
Jeremy Leese: Next six games, all against those around us, will dictate if we survive. 12 points from them and we should be okay, I reckon. Single figures points and we’ll be really up against it given the current from of Wigan and Barnsley.
Adam Boulton: It’s anyone from Reading down now unless Sheff Wed, Derby and Brum get deducted points.
Wayne Thomas: Poor game but it could be a big point for Stoke tonight.
I thought it was great managing by O’Neill to play Nathan Collins (who was MOM) against the big awkward and physical Sam Gallagher. Chester would have got bullied tonight.
Bottom three teams are flying. Hull, Boro struggling.
Will Meigh: Four points from two games. Follow it up with a win on Saturday and it’s a great week. Shame Wigan are having a perfect one so far. They have West Brom next though, whilst we play Luton. Massive, massive chance to distance ourselves.
Neil James: The way these results are going, we could see a team go down on 50+ points this year. Pray to god it isn’t us.