Potter wary of Stoke threat

17th September 2018
First team

Graham Potter heads back to former club Stoke City tomorrow believing Swansea City will face a team on the up.

Stoke are 20th in the early-season Championship table having registered just one victory from their opening seven league games of 2018-19.

It has been a disappointing start given that the Potters invested heavily over the summer in a bid to build a squad capable of making an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation last season.

But Potter, who played for Stoke between 1993 and 1996, reckons Gary Rowett’s team are destined to climb the division over the weeks and months ahead.

“I think it’s probably fair to say they have taken a few weeks to adjust and that can happen when you are relegated from the Premier League,” said the Swans boss.

“But Stoke have got good players and an intelligent, talented manager who knows what’s required to win games in the Championship.

“They are on the right path in terms of improving and we hope we can slow that improvement tomorrow night.”

The Swans are unbeaten on the road so far this season, but their hopes of extending that run will not be helped by a lengthy list of absentees.

The biggest issue is in central midfield, where Leroy Fer, Tom Carroll, Jay Fulton and Bersant Celina are all out injured.

Stoke, meantime, have numerous options in what looks a deep squad as they bid to build on an encouraging performance in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

“Whenever you play Stoke City at Stoke, it’s a tough game,” Potter added.

“I know from experience that Stoke is not an easy place to go and play. The supporters are good there.

“It would be a mistake to think about the league table.

“We are playing a good team who are moving forward and it’s a tough place to go, so it will be a big test for us.”