Stoke City legend Lou Macari has urged Nathan Jones to stick with the same team that faced Swansea City last time out, as the Potters prepare to take on high-flying Fulham this weekend.
Jones’ side finally picked up their first league win of the season in their previous game, defeating the Swans by two goals to one at the Liberty Stadium, thanks to Scott Hogan’s late strike in stoppage-time.
The Potters remain at the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table and still sit three points adrift of safety, but confidence is bound to be sky-high heading into this weekend’s clash.
Jones has shown during his time at Stoke that he isn’t afraid to make changes to his side, regardless of the result in the previous game.
But speaking in his latest column in the Stoke Sentinel, Macari has urged Jones to stick with the same line-up that started from the off in South Wales.
He said: “I often wonder what ever happened to the old footballing adage of `never change a winning team’ – but surely this weekend we will, barring injuries, see the same Stoke 11 starting against Fulham which started against Swansea last time out.
“Nathan Jones knows he’ll leave himself open to all kinds of criticism if he changes a winning team on this occasion.
“Because that win at Swansea was Stoke’s first in the league, at the 11th attempt, and because it was a very good performance as well.
“That changes everything, at least in the short term, because we all know Stoke and their supporters were on their knees going into that Swansea game.”
Saturday afternoon will undoubtedly be a tough test for Jones and his side, as they prepare to take on a Fulham side that have scored 20 goals in 11 games thus far this term.
Scott Parker’s side occupy seventh spot in the Championship league standings.
I can’t see Jones sticking with the same team that faced Swansea before the international break, there’s bound to be a change in there somewhere.
Jones, very rarely, sticks with the same starting XI, and why that is, I’m not quite sure.
Obviously, different players suit different games and different opponents, but in my view, I think it’s important that they are building cohesion and relationships on the pitch as well as off it.
What will the Stoke City vs Fulham result be?