MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 00:15:28
Jan 1, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Bet365 Stadium (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire)
Attendance: 23,912
StokeStoke City
Bristol City
FT(HT: 0-1)
Diedhiou (39'), O'Dowda (81')

Stoke boss Gary Rowett accepts criticism as pressure mounts

Stoke boss Gary Rowett accepts criticism as pressure mounts
© Reuters
The Potters are eight points off the play-offs.

Under-fire Stoke boss Gary Rowett says he fully understands the fans' frustrations following their 2-0 defeat to Bristol City.

Famara Diedhiou superbly headed home from Jack Hunt's cross against the run of play in the 39th minute to increase the tension inside the Bet365 Stadium.

Callum O'Dowda made the game safe when Stoke failed to clear Hunt's cross nine minutes from time, leading to angry chants directed at Rowett.

It could have been so different for Stoke had Benik Afobe converted a sixth-minute penalty after Bruno Martins Indi was brought down.

The toothless Potters, who are eight points off the play-offs in 14th place, failed to convert a series of decent chances from that point and are now three games without a goal.

"I am feeling frustrated as well because I know we have better players," he said.

"I have to accept the criticism because we are not in the position we want to be in.

"I will take it on the chin and we have to win the games to turn it around. I am OK if I get criticism.

"We live or die as a team but as a manager I know the criticism will be directed at me.

"Our ambition was to be at the top and we have signed a lot of good players.

"We have not had the performances that the financial outlay has warranted so I understand why people
are angry and we have to find a solution.

"We felt we were in a position to kick on over the last three games following a poor start to the season.

"All three games have been similar, they have all had big moments that have not gone our way. Football can change in a second."

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson was quick to praise full-back Lloyd Kelly for his key role in the victory.

"Lloyd Kelly was outstanding today in how he kept Tom Ince quiet," he said.

"Stoke are a good side with good individuals. They have spent a lot of money and have a Premier League squad so we had to win the one v one battles.

"Ince is world class at cutting inside and bending goals in the top corner. Lloyd defended brilliantly against him and isolated him.

"We are unbeaten in eight. It has been a great festive period for us to get the points we have.

"More important is the level of the performances that we have put in. We showed a great work-rate and desire today.

"We were up against it inside the first half and the penalty save was a key turning point so early on.

"It probably took us a good 25 minutes to get settled into the game, but it was a good game from us once we did that."

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Stoke City manager Gary Rowett pictured on November 28, 2018
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