Stoke boss Jones bemoans lack of cutting edge

Stoke manager Nathan Jones felt his Potters side lacked a cutting edge as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by struggling Reading at the bet365 Stadium.

Clear-cut chances throughout the contest were few and far between as the Royals frustrated their hosts to earn a valuable point on the road in their fight against relegation.

And Jones revealed his frustrations after Stoke’s seventh goalless draw of the season despite having the better of the openings at goal.

Jones said: “I felt we lacked a bit of cutting edge today, I know we picked a side that was full of cutting edge. I played four real attackers, in terms of Sam Vokes as a target, (Tom) Ince, who is in good form and looking sharp, he just needs a goal, then (James) McClean, (Thibaud) Verlinden I thought was outstanding for his league debut.

“We picked as positive a side as we possibly could, we made positive subs, we didn’t take one backward step in the game.

“I thought we played very well in the first-half, I really did. We missed chances, we hit the bar, we hit the post, we had our chances but didn’t take enough of those.

“We just lacked a little bit of quality in the final third and maybe the conditions played their part.

“If you take chances and you score, it changes the complexion of the game, we are not changing the complexion of games as we are not taking chances.

“I don’t think we were ever in any danger of losing the game, it’s just when you don’t score, a counter attack or a mistake, anything can happen, but we defended superbly well, it’s another clean sheet, it’s another unbeaten game, it’s another point.”

In the first-half, Ince struck the post, while Vokes’ header crashed off the upright, as Stoke started brightly on a wet and windy Staffordshire afternoon.

After the break, Jones’ men pushed for an elusive winner, but McClean was denied superbly by a sprawling reaction stop from visiting goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez following Tom Edwards’ cross as Reading held on for a point.

Jose Gomes’ side are 21st in the second-tier, a point above the bottom three, while Stoke are 16th.

The Reading boss said: “It was a difficult game for the both teams regarding the weather conditions. We did create some situations in the beginning but in the end, it was a fair result.

“I didn’t like the game, it wasn’t a beautiful game, but it was the only possible game regarding the weather conditions.

“With the wind, it was difficult for us to play. The ball moved a lot so it was very difficult for the players to play.

“We are under pressure and I’d like it if my players played better football, beautiful football, but in the position that we are in, in their minds they cannot lose, and we didn’t.

“It wasn’t a very positive game, but it was a positive point.

“All of their (Stoke) team caused us problems each time they had the ball, we cannot forget that they have a lot of Premier League players and it wasn’t only one player who created us problems, Stoke have a whole team who created problems for us.”