Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has revealed that Joe Allen should be alright despite being forced off the field towards the end of the Potters’ win against Derby County.
Allen was a key performer for the Potters during his 79 minutes on the field against Derby, with the Wales international managing to help Stoke control the game from the middle of the park. The 31-year-old managed to deliver one key pass and maintained a passing accuracy of 93% (Sofascore), which allowed O’Neill’s side to dictate the rhythm of the game.
However, with 11 minutes remaining Allen was forced off the field and replaced by Sam Vokes. That would have been a concern for the Potters, who are already without a number of first-team players with Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Steven Fletcher having both suffered injury setbacks in the last week.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, O’Neill revealed that Allen was withdrawn after suffering with a tight calf and that he made the decision as a precaution to bring him off so he did not do any more damage. However, he did also suggest that the midfielder should be fine despite coming off.
He said: “He’s ok. He had a bit of a tight calf so it was a wee bit precautionary. He was feeling it at half-time and he was feeling it at that point of the game. I never like to take Joe off. I thought he was terrific today.
“Him and John and Jordan Thompson in there all played very well. His performance level was excellent and we just had to watch him in the last 15 minutes or so.”
O’Neill was right to not risk Allen’s fitness in the closing ten minutes of the game against Derby and it will be very reassuring news that the Wales international has not suffered a major injury during his battling performance against the Rams. At the moment the last thing that the Potters need is to lose another key player through injury.
The experienced midfielder has been a key performer over the last few weeks and he has the full faith of O’Neill, which is why it was a concern to see him being brought off the field with the game still in the balance against Derby. It is unusual to see the 31-year-old withdrawn when a game is tight and the Potters are looking to hold on to a result.
However, it seems that Allen should recover swiftly from the issue and that means they do not have to worry about coping without him when the Championship campaign resumes after the international break.