Stoke City suffered a setback in midweek after being defeated by Barnsley 2-0 on the road at Oakwell.
The Potters had won two matches in a row – against Sheffield Wednesday and Luton – before coming up against the in-form Tykes.
It put a little dent in Michael O’Neill’s play-off push and with other teams like Barnsley themselves and Cardiff on a hot streak, some good results are needed in the next few weeks.
Stoke have had some good news in regards to a loanee this week and potentially bad news for a senior player – let’s round-up the latest news coming out of the Bet365 Stadium.
Gunn loan deal extended
Stoke have gone through a whole host of goalkeepers this season, and owing to an injury crisis a few months ago they signed two that never even played in Andy Lonergan and Niki Maenpaa
Another signing between the sticks this season was Angus Gunn, who arrived from Southampton on loan and suffered from an ankle injury which kept him on the sidelines for two months.
He looks to be the first-choice of Michael O’Neill though ahead of Adam Davies and Josef Bursik, and the loan of Gunn has now been extended until the end of next season – but Southampton have the opportunity to recall this summer should they need to.
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McClean faces fresh injury woe
It’s been a tough month for James McClean, who has gone public with social media abuse he has suffered and now he has picked up an injury.
The Ireland international pulled out of training on Tuesday before their clash with Barnsley, and whilst we don’t know the full extent of his issue, we do know that he is in a protective air-boot.
McClean’s wife Erin shared a snap of him in the boot to her social media and that could mean the winger could be out for a while.
Youngsters given new contracts
Stoke are always giving chances to young players, with Nathan Collins, Harry Souttar and Tyrese Campbell becoming first-team regulars this season.
And new contracts have been handed out to perhaps two of the next crop to emerge into the senior squad.
Defenders Will Forrester and Connor Taylor have penned new deals for a further 18 months, with the former being on the bench for Stoke’s loss at Barnsley this week.
Taylor meanwhile was on loan at Chester earlier this season – the pair face a tough ask to get in the first-team line-up though in the near future with Collins and Souttar patrolling the back-line.