Potters move out of bottom three after thumping relegation rivals

Stoke City eased to a 4-0 win over relegation rivals Barnsley on Saturday.

It is the second time this season the Potters have scored four past their hapless opponents.

Manager Michael O'Neill made five changes to the side beaten 3-0 at Wigan on Tuesday night, that saw Stoke drop into the bottom three.

There were recalls for James Chester, Bruno Martins Indi, Tommy Smith, Nick Powell and Tyrese Campbell.

They replaced Nathan Collins, Ryan Shawcross, Stephen Ward, Jordan Thompson and Tom Ince.

The hosts got off to a flying start with two goals in the opening 10 minutes through a Sam Vokes header from a corner and a cheeky back heel from Tyrese Campbell.

Stoke then added a third just before the break through Campbell who netted his second with a sweetly struck shot from inside the area.

But the Potters saved the best till last, when substitute Tom Ince cut inside to hit a screamer into the top corner with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Boss Michael O'Neill said: "I thought we deserved to win the game, I felt we could have played better in the second half but overall after a difficult week it has been a great result and despite all the doom and gloom we have lost two games in eight.

"Rory Delap has done a lot of hard work on set-pieces both for and against and we recognise that is something is important, so he's done a great job in that area.

"We were pleased with all aspects of our game today, I thought the back four was very good, I thought the goalkeeper was very secure so it was a step in the right direction nothing more than that."

Stoke moved up to 18th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.

The Potters are back in action on Thursday night when they make the trip to Championship leaders Leeds United.

Kick off at Elland Road is at 5pm.


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