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Boss Michael O’Neill says Tyrese Campbell injury a big blow to Stoke

Stoke City v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill admitted his side missed the injured Tyrese Campbell in the 0-0 draw at QPR.

Forward Campbell, who has scored seven goals this season, is expected to be ruled out for the rest of the campaign after suffering a serious knee injury.

He might have made all the difference at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances.

O’Neill said: “Tyrese had been been playing as a wide player more than through the middle but he was in a rich vein of form. We’ve also been easing Steven Fletcher back after a knee injury.

“A combination of those things has maybe meant we’re not as productive as we were earlier in the season.

“But I’m not that concerned because I do believe we have goals in our squad. We have a good balance.”

Despite their injury problems, Stoke are very much in contention for a play-off place and have now kept five consecutive away clean sheets.

O’Neill added: “I thought there were periods of the game where we were quite dominant and had a lot of control.

“We probably just didn’t do enough in the final third. We had a lot of opportunities to get good balls in the box.

“Overall I thought we had a lot of good play and looked assured at the back.

“I’m a little disappointed not to come away with more but if we’re honest we maybe just didn’t do enough.”

QPR are now without a win in six matches, although the point and clean sheet were some consolation for them following back-to-back home defeats.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton felt his players deserved credit for their response to a sustained spell of Stoke pressure early in the second half.

He said: “We started the game well but to be fair to Stoke they started the second half in the same fashion. We were chasing shadows in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

“I thought the boys showed a lot of character on the hour mark because we were under the cosh.

“Stoke were throwing men forward and have good players, good presence and a lot of experience in their squad.

“But our players stood up as a team and defended the goal. Then we started to come into the game more.

“I was pleased with the character they showed in that last half an hour to finish the game strongly.

“It was a game of few chances for both teams. It was very hard to break down defences.

“After the disappointing run it’s a big point. We’re pleased with the clean sheet but you always want to win your home games.”