05 October 2022

Alex Neil delighted his Stoke ‘game-plan’ paid off against Burnley

05 October 2022

Alex Neil felt his homework paid off as Stoke struck late to earn a point from a 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw with Burnley.

Sub Harry Clarke headed in with three minutes remaining to cancel out Connor Roberts’ opener for the home side early in the second half and ensure the Potters left Turf Moor with a positive result on the back of a 4-0 weekend drubbing at the hands of Watford.

Neil revealed he’d studied Burnley and the sides who had achieved positive results against Vincent Kompany’s men, learning lessons to help his Stoke side.

It yielded a point against a Clarets side who have now drawn seven of their first 12 matches. Burnley have only been beaten once this term and looked set to pick up a fifth success of the campaign when Roberts lashed home from inside the box on 54 minutes before Clarke struck late.

“We came here with a game-plan. I have watched Burnley a lot in recent weeks,” said Neil.

“I watched Wigan get after them and they got beat 5-1. I watched Cardiff at the weekend and other teams who have had success against them and it’s come from that mid-block, frustrating them and hitting them on transition.

“Tonight it was important that we built from solid foundations. I was disappointed losing the goal because if you look at the game in its entirety, for all Burnley’s use of the ball and having the ball, in terms of clear-cut chances we had three of the best.

“They are a really good team but I think we gave ourselves the best chance of winning the game, or certainly getting something from the game.”

Burnley boss Kompany was left frustrated at the concession of a late equaliser, days after conceding in the 90th minute in drawing 1-1 with Cardiff.

“No matter how long you have been in the game it is not something you get used to, especially when there was a good tempo to our play” he said.

“On all fronts we played a good game. We didn’t concede chances and we created chances.

“Football is made of moments and that one crucial moment, it is not like you could see it coming. There was a restart and a couple of minutes on the side with one of their players being down and it went boom, boom and you are left again with a bitter taste.

“But at some point this type of performance will click and will lead to a run of wins. We are in and amongst it, five points off the top. Today is bitter but the challenge in this league is to stay focused and calm. It will hurt tonight but tomorrow we go again.”

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