Former Stoke City attacker Chris Iwelumo has slammed Alex Neil’s side after falling to a dismal 3-1 defeat at home against Hull City earlier today, leaving the Potters two points above the relegation zone.
Neil’s men started the 2023/24 campaign quite well, winning three out of the first four matches in all competitions. However, form has significantly dipped since and Stoke are now winless in five games in the Championship.
The visitors were 3-0 up at one point today after Aaron Connolly, Adama Traore and Regan Slater all got themselves on the scoresheet. Andre Vigidal pulled one back in the 77th minute for Stoke City but it was too little too late as the match ended 3-1.
Speaking on commentary for Sky Sports during the game, ex-Stoke striker Iwelumo slated his former side, claiming that there were no positives to take [quotes via Stoke-on-Trent Live]:
“I never seen enough, the manager sets the players up, that’s the blueprint. The players today weren’t good enough, there are no positives to take from that performance.
“They concede sloppy goals, defensive errors, positioning, marking, then you want to see a reaction, you talk about doing the basics well – a little bit of aggression,” he continued.
“The bet365, when the fans are on top and they are shouting, there’s no place louder but you have got to give them something to shout about and I never seen anything in that performance today.
I understand his [Neil’s] frustration but the players have to step up. Hopefully today there will be a few harsh words said within the dressing room and they have to react from that now.”
Stoke City have an incredibly difficult run-in over the coming weeks, having to face Bristol City, Southampton, Leicester City, Sunderland and Leeds United across the next five games.
It’s not looking good for Alex Neil. With such a tough fixture list on the horizon, pressure is already mounting on the former Norwich City head coach.
Failure to pick up any points across the next three or four games could see the Stoke board act quickly to bring in a new boss to turn things around.