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Stoke City boss to evaluate players during the FA Cup third round replay

Posted on February 5, 2019  in Stoke

Stoke City manager Nathan Jones has said that he will use the upcoming FA Cup third round replay against Shrewsbury Town to evaluate the players within the squad. The 45-year-old was appointed as the new Potters boss during the previous week but he did not enjoy a smooth beginning after the team suffered a 3-1 defeat on the road to Brentford.

Still, there were some positives with the Potters returning to scoring ways after three Championship matches and Jones is now looking forward to the Cup replay against Shrewsbury where he could offer the opportunity for the reserve players. Speaking to reporters, Jones confirmed that changes are likely for the midweek Cup tie but he would not want to hamper the balance within the team.

He said:”I would imagine there will be some changes but they won’t be wholesale ones because we want to win the game. Iwon’t be treating it lightly. I need to evaluate the squad, see how they do, how they handle the ball and how they work and who will provide the best competition for each position.”

Meanwhile, the former Luton boss issued a hands-off warning on Moritz Bauer amid the ongoing interest from Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Austrian has not featured for the Potters since September after falling out-of-favour under Gary Rowetts but Jones has hinted that the player’s situation should change with him generally preferring attack-minded full-backs, he added: “Moritz is part of what we do here. I’m excited to work with the player. He’s the type of full back that we like, so there’s no story there.”

Stoke’s struggles have generally lied around the attacking department during the ongoing season and it will be interesting to see whether Jones can transform the club’s fortunes to spur the promotion charge. The Staffordshire outfit are currently eight points behind the sixth position on the table occupied by Derby County.

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