Stoke City’s winless run in the league continued on Saturday as they drew 0-0 with Brentford at Griffin Park.
In isolation, that would be a very good result for most sides in the Championship but the Potters still haven’t picked up maximum points in the campaign and they are five points from safety.
Therefore, you could forgive the under-pressure Nathan Jones if he wasn’t prioritising tonight’s League Cup tie at Crawley and was instead focusing on Friday’s league game with Nottingham Forest.
The short turnaround between games means that the ex-Luton chief is sure to make several changes against the League Two side with the Reds in mind and it could give those on the fringes a chance.
And, given how the first XI are struggling, anyone who impresses could keep their place.
One man who will be hoping to do that is Tyrese Campbell. The 19-year-old has started just one game this season – when the Staffordshire side beat Leeds United on penalties in the cup, and he assisted a Sam Vokes goal.
Whilst he has regularly featured from the bench, he is coming on in difficult situations and getting up to ten or twenty minutes a time isn’t allowing the teenager to show what he can do.
That will be particularly frustrating for Campbell when he sees a host of other strikers at the club not really deliver when they have been given more opportunities.
The teenager boasts good pace, has strength and would give the side a threat in behind, something they lack at times.
However, the main problem for Jones and Stoke right now is that they don’t have a consistent goalscorer. Seven goals from eight Championship games is just nowhere near good enough, which is why it’s baffling that Campbell hasn’t been given more time on the pitch.
Of course, there’s no guarantee he will start tonight, but the fact he was the first attacking sub at Griffin Park bodes well and it should have given the youngster a bit of confidence.
Now, the manager needs to let him build on that by giving him a run out against a Crawley side that have been suspect defensively this season. If he can find the net, it could see him given more starts in the coming months.
So, it’s a massive night for Campbell and he will hope to really kickstart his Stoke career tonight and earn the trust of Jones with a big performance.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.