Ahead of today’s clash at the Britannia Stadium, Keith Ingham spoke to Russel Dutton about all things Stoke City.
How long have you supported Stoke City and why did you choose them as your team?
41 years and I was introduced to Stoke by my parents who were heavily involved with the club and the supporters association at the time. I’ve suffered ever since 😀
What’s your favourite moment as a fan. Season, game or anything other occasion.
Has to be the FA Cup semi final at Wembley beating Bolton 5-0 I mean you don’t win games like that by that margin do you. They are meant to be tense affairs although I was still anxious until we scored the 5th. I relaxed after that 😀 there are so many others to choose from especially over the last decade my club has certainly ruffled a few feathers in its time in the premier league.
Tell us about a player that you were proud to have on the back of a shirt, if you didn’t is there one you wished you would have.
Bojan (who is still at the club at the time this is written) one of the most talented players we’ve ever had, cruelly robbed of his best years by a shocking knee injury at Rochdale in a cup match when he was playing the best football of his career
What’s your most memorable match playing Leeds.
There’s been quite a few there’s one or two in the 70’s that just pre date my time supporting the club. There’s a couple of hefty wins for Stoke in the 80’s 6-2 and 7-2 but the one that really stands out in the recent past was the 0-4 win at Elland Road before we got promoted to the Premier League. If my memory serves me right it was the year before promotion but it was a sign we were going in the right direction.
Are you happy with your dealings in this summer’s transfer market.
Not really we spent big and not many of the signings have come off, we also kept a lot of our premier league players but all have struggled. One of the shining lights has been Tom Ince who in the main has performed well.
What’s your realistic aim for the season?
Mid to top half of the table consolidation now I think after the awful start and managerial change that was sadly inevitable after the last few weeks
Are you happy with the sacking of Gary Rowett and the appointment of Nathan Jones?
See above, I was delighted with the appointment of Rowett as were most Stokies, it’s fair to say it didn’t work though from day one. He made enemies of the fans, made some poor signings and his style of play was just not exciting the paying public. Nathan Jones in contrast who was unknown to most of us has said all the right things since his appointment, he wants to play positive football and I think we are heading for a huge turnover of players in the summer.
Who in your mind is going to be promoted this season?
If Leeds remain relatively injury free I like the style of play I’ve seen. The worry is the players are working so hard they may run out of gas come March. Can’t rule out WBA M’Boro imo
Can you name your three for relegation this year?
Ipswich were awful at Stoke surely they will go down Wigan although they had a great result at the weekend are another possibility
Who’s your danger man?
Haha our strikers have hardly set the world on fire although Afobe did score a belter last week. I would have to say Tom Ince who has scored some vital goals as well as being the main creative outlet in the danger man
Can you tell us about a rising star in the youth ranks?
Tom Edwards who may or may not be right back when we play you. Already had England call ups in his age group. Still loads to learn but is a good prospect.
Prediction and scorers for the game?
Stoke 3-3 Leeds
Afobe Ince and Allen for Stoke Roofe 2 and Clarke for Leeds
I have a feeling this might be a cracker, Nathan Jones first home league game, big crowd no doubt. Stoke players have to start performing at some point this season surely what better way than against the leaders 😀
We’d like to thanks Russel for his answers and wish his the best of luck for the season.
By Keith Ingham