The five key quotes from Michael O'Neill's post-Norwich press conference 
Michael O'Neill, manager of Stoke City looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Rotherham United at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday 31st October 2020. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Stoke City missed out on the chance to move into the SkyBet Championship play-off places on Tuesday night as they were beaten 3-2 by league leaders Norwich City.

A Teemu Pukki brace followed Emiliano Buendia's 18th minute opener to see the away side race into a 3-0 lead, however after Buendia was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous high-foot, the hosts found a way back into the game through goals from Tyrese Campbell and Nathan Collins but were unable to find a late equaliser.

Potters boss Michael O'Neill spoke to the media after the game to discuss his side's performance as well as the prospect of bringing a new goalkeeper to the club.

On the outcome of the game

After a poor first-half display from his Stoke side, Northern Irishman O'Neill believed that had they not conceded early in the game, that Stoke may have been able to find an equaliser.

He said: “We were unlucky not to score and hit the bar, but unfortunately we conceded at a bad time and the red card gave us a lifeline. We got two but couldn’t find the third.”

On changing formation at half-time

The home side initially lined up with a back-four formation, however after conceding two first-half goals, O'Neill decided to introduce Nathan Collins and Josh Tymon revert to a three-at-the-back formation.

Despite the change, the 51-year-old believes there is still improvement required and it will be something the Potters will look to work on this week.

O'Neill said: “We changed the formation to three at the back and it didn’t work so we will have a look at that for the rest of this week and see where we can improve.”

On conceding at home

For the second game in a row, Stoke conceded three goals at home, however unlike Saturday, were unable to come up with the winning formula.

This is a problem that O'Neill says his side have spoken about and one that they don't want to become a regular occurrence.

He said: “We’re conceding too many goals. We said it before and after on Saturday that we can’t expect to score more than three goals at home to get something from the game every time."

On the opposition

The win for Norwich tonight ensured that they would remain top of the table as they secured a first victory in Staffordshire since 2013.

Despite having faced tough opposition in fixtures already this season, O'Neill believes that Daniel Farke's side are the strongest opponent they have faced so far.

The 51-year-old said: “We played against a very good team tonight and you can see why they are at the top of the league.

“We played against probably the best striker in the league in Teemu Pukki and we struggled to deal with him.

“We knew about him going into the game and we changed to a back three to try and help us deal with him a little bit better, but ultimately in the first 20/25 minutes I felt we struggled, we were second best."

On bringing in a goalkeeper

With injuries to first-choice goalkeepers Adam Davies and Angus Gunn, Stoke have been left with something short of a crisis in the shot-stopping department.

The Potters recalled Joe Bursik from Doncaster Rovers who has featured in the last two games however with just Blondy Nna Noukeu as the only replacement, O'Neill admitted he is looking to bring in another goalkeeper to add some strength in depth.

He said: “Yeah I’m going to bringing in another goalkeeper soon to help take the burden off the two young lads we have here.

"I don’t think Joe couldn’t do anything for their goals but whilst we don’t know how long either Adam or Angus are out, it’s better to get a replacement in to take the pressure off.”

 

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