Stoke City’s new manager Michael O’Neill has stated that Saturday’s victory over Barnsley is a step in the right direction for his side.
The Potters defeated Barnsley 4-2 at Oakwell as O’Neill enjoyed a thrilling start to his reign as Stoke manager.
It was a much needed three points and it could lead to a needed revival as O’Neill’s side look to push up the Championship table.
The win means that Stoke are now just three points from safety and will likely have given them a major boost heading into the international break as the new coach looks to make his mark on the squad during the break.
O’Neill has insisted that Barnsley tested his side to their maximum but stated that his Stoke team produced a brilliant performance.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, O’Neill said: “We had to match their desire–no-one has a God-given right to be in the Championship.
“I’m obviously delighted with the result. It’s one step in the right direction. It’s very pleasing. It was a very good performance.
“They tested us to the max and they deserve a lot of credit for that.”
Will O'Neill be a success at Stoke?
It’s a good appointment for Stoke and O’Neill is a manager who comes with a wealth of experience having done a terrific job during his time at Northern Ireland. There’s hope that he can be the man to change Stoke’s season around.
It will be interesting to see how he weighs up his international duties and his club duties, as that could be something that could actually hurt Stoke in the long-run campaign especially if Northern Ireland qualify for the European Championships.
Stoke did have a great victory on Saturday, and that could be the massive confidence boost that is needed to kick-start their season. They need to get above the safety line and then try and build from that.