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First Team News

Gary Rowett Says PNE Will Be ‘Strong And Cohesive Unit’

16 August 2018

Stoke City manager Gary Rowett will bring his side to Deepdale at the weekend and expects a tough task ahead for the Potters.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the City boss praised the work of Alex Neil, but feels his side have the quality to get a result.

“At Derby last year we just pipped PNE to the Play-Off places, but they pushed us all the way,” he said. “They’ve got a team that’s played together for quite a while and Alex Neil has done a good job there without a massive budget.

“They will be a strong and cohesive unit and you don’t get anything at Deepdale for free.

“You have to work incredibly hard and do those basic elements incredibly well. It will be as hard as the first two games, but we have quality in our group and we have to show that.”

In terms of his own team, he feels there has been plenty to build upon in the first two games: “We need to be harder to score against and then along with that we should be in a position to create more chances,” he continued.

“We need to be stronger at doing the basics right. We have the players to do that and they need to raise their game, which they have in training this week.

“I don't think we can be too discouraged by the first couple of games given the opposition and how they have played, but we are working hard to improve as a team.

“We need to get those basic elements to our game right first and we should have had a better base in our first two games - we’ve conceded ground and chances too much for my liking.

“At the moment the forward guys are having to do too much defensive work. We’ve got the players to do that and they just need to raise their game.

“I’ve seen in training a team that really wants to work hard. It’s an honest bunch. Perhaps they’re a little low on confidence, that’s understandable.

“People sometimes underestimate what it takes to have a long run without too many wins. We’ve had a good week and we’re getting closer to where we want to get to.”


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