Skip to main content

Michael O’Neill: Confidence is growing in the Stoke squad

Stoke City v Aston Villa – Pre Season Friendly – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill believes confidence is growing amongst his squad after their impressive run of form continued with a 2-0 win over Doncaster to progress to the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Tom Ince gave O’Neill’s side the lead late in the first half with a simple tap-in at the back post. Sam Surridge then scored his third goal in a Stoke shirt to seal victory for the Potters.

O’Neill felt Stoke struggled in the first half but never thought the result was in doubt.

“Overall, it was a good solid performance. There were things I think we could have done better but I don’t think the result was ever in any doubt.

“We struggled in the first half to break them down. At times I thought we were a little slow.

“Of course, it is (great to win five out of last six), it breeds confidence, belief and competition which is important.

“We made 11 changes to the team tonight and the players who came in did well.

“We changed the goalkeeper and Adam (Davies) has come in and kept a clean sheet, we need a hungry group of players.

“Players will be rotated and in and out of the side, but the most important thing is the players are hungry to play.”

For Doncaster, manager Richie Wellens said it was a “pleasing night” because of the way his youth players performed, but was disappointed they were knocked out.

“Some of these players made their debut. It was a pleasing night in the way we played but a disappointing night because we’ve gone out.”

“We gave a lot of young players the opportunity to play and they didn’t freeze.

“Yep (I am looking to bring players in), we’re short on three or four bodies because of the injuries we’ve got.”