Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has admitted that he is not looking to completely overhaul his squad during the summer transfer window.
The Potters made a host of changes to their squad before the start of the 2019/20 campaign as former boss Nathan Jones looked to transform the club’s fortunes in the Championship following a disappointing end to the previous campaign.
However, despite drafting in the likes of Lee Gregory, Adam Davies, Mark Duffy and Jordan Cousins, Jones was given his marching orders by Stoke’s hierarchy after a disastrous start to the current term.
Since handing over the reins to O’Neill, the Potters have stepped their performance levels in recent months and currently find themselves 17th in the second-tier standings.
Although Stoke are still fighting to maintain their Championship status, they will be hoping that last Saturday’s 5-1 victory will provide them with the momentum needed to push on in the coming weeks.
Set to face Reading at the Madejski Stadium this weekend, the Potters could potentially extend the gap between them and the relegation zone to six points by beating Mark Bowen’s side.
Speaking at Stoke’s fan forum (as cited by the Stoke Sentinel) about his plans for the summer transfer window, O’Neill said: “We don’t want to go out and sign 10 players in the summer and find the dressing room is too small for all the players again.
“It’s not like fantasy football where you can take players in and out each week.
“So no, not wholesale changes.
“It’s difficult for some of the players here because they have only been here for two years and I’m their fourth manager, so that creates uncertainty for the player and it’s something we have to work on in terms of developing relationships.”
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Whilst it would be naive to suggest that Stoke do not need to strengthen their squad during the upcoming transfer window, O’Neill’s stance should be respected as he clearly doesn’t want to disrupt the dressing room by drafting in a plethora of players.
The Northern Irishman has managed to build up a fruitful relationship with the club’s existing squad in recent months and thus will be keen to sign players who will compliment this set-up.
Providing that the Potters do indeed avoid relegation to the third-tier, O’Neill could potentially take them to new heights next season if he gets his recruitment spot-on.
By convincing the likes of Tyrese Campbell, Sam Clucas and Joe Allen to stay at the club, there is no reason why the 50-year-old cannot achieve a tremendous amount of success at the bet365 Stadium in the not too distant future.