D’Margio Wright-Phillips, the son of Shaun and grandson of Ian Wright, made his senior football debut for Stoke City in the FA Cup over the weekend.
The Potters booked their place in the fourth round with a 2-0 win over Leyton Orient of League Two. Goals from Tom Ince and Tyrese Campbell proved the difference between the two sides as Wright-Phillips led the line competently for 84 minutes.
Michael O’Neill gave his assessment of the 20-year-old’s debut when he spoke to StokeonTrentLive.
He said: “Young D’Margio was a real bright spark. We didn’t get the ball into him enough to be honest. We had more opportunities to play in to him and he’s capable of holding the ball and making things happen.
“I thought he also dealt with the physicality of the game. He’s diminutive but he’s brave and it was good to see the contribution that he made because he’s been up with us for the last six to eight weeks and he’s shown up really well.”
Stoke have a lot of options in attacking areas and have rotated through them this season. However, as a wildcard impact substitute, Wright-Phillips may well have a part to play in the second half of the season after impressing O’Neill against Orient.
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It is very encouraging that O’Neill was content throwing Wright-Phillips in from the start, despite having never before even made a substitute appearance for the club and it speaks volumes to the reputation that the 20-year-old has built through his performances in the club’s youth setup.
Whether any further first team opportunities are forthcoming remains to be seen but with Stoke only winning one of their last six league games, O’Neill is bound to look inwardly for any personnel that could improve their situation. It is apparent in O’Neill’s words that Wright-Phillips has only enhanced his reputation in his performance and he could go on to gain further trust from the former Northern Ireland manager in the coming months.