There aren’t many clubs where you are given a Day One welcome by the fella who scored a World Cup final hat-trick. But Sir Geoff Hurst has given his backing – and is keeping his fingers crossed – for new Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill, who will take charge of his first game today. Stoke are bottom of the Championship and heading to second-bottom Barnsley – but there are 31 games to go. Hurst told StokeonTrentLive: “Sometimes clubs make decisions on changing managers too early, sometimes too late, but this time he’s got a lot of time. “He’s got a lot of time from now until the end of season to get out of trouble and finish out of that relegation zone.” Bumper away following at Oakwell Barnsley are allowing extra Stoke supporters to pay on the gate at Oakwell following a surge in demand for tickets. Stoke had already had to request a further allocation after selling out quickly and 2,600 were snapped up by the time tickets went off general sale at 4pm on Thursday. But the appointment of O’Neill has seen further major interest and Barnsley will now run cash-only turnstiles in the North Stand. Junior tickets must be purchased from the Oakwell ticket office in the South Stand. The whole of the North Stand will be dedicated to visiting supporters and has a capacity of 6,200, although that is brought down by segregation. Is this the right appointment?

poll loading

Is Michael O’Neill the right man for Stoke City?
3000+ VOTES SO FAR

Yes, he can turn the ship around
No, there are better candidates
I’m reserving judgement

This week’s column from Mike Pejic “If I were Michael O’Neill I’d divide the remaining 30 league games (after tomorrow) in two and outline two major targets for his players. “The first challenge in that first block of 15 games is to get out of the bottom three, no easy task with Luton currently six points above us and the gap capable of growing to nine if we lose  this weekend at Barnsley. “The second challenge in that second block of 15 remaining fixtures, hoping the first challenge has been achieved, is to finish mid-table by the end the season.” Read More
Related Articles
Every word from Michael O’Neill’s first interview Michael O’Neill will not meet the press until after full-time this afternoon. But he has already given an interview for the club website where he spells out his short and long-term ambitions and why he is leaving Northern Ireland after eight years to jump in with two feet at the bottom of the Championship.
Read More
What’s happening at Stoke City?

Keep up to date with the latest Stoke City news, features and exclusives from Stoke-on-Trent Live via our free WhatsApp service.                         Text NEWS to 07557203667 and then add the number to your phone contacts book as Stoke City Live to receive daily updates and breaking news from our Potters reporter Pete Smith. Your phone number won’t be shared with any other members of the group. Click here for more information on the service.

For all your latest Stoke City news, opinion, analysis and transfer gossip, click here



Source link