Stoke City manager Gary Rowett has revealed that Mame Biram Diouf has picked up a hamstring injury and is a doubt for the club’s upcoming games.
Diouf was replaced at half-time during the 3-2 loss to Blackburn Rovers at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday, and is now expected to miss the League Cup clash with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
“Mame Diouf has a hamstring strain, so he is one we have to be careful with,” Rowett told his pre-match press conference.
“We wanted continuity in the first cup game, but we need to balance other things this time around so we will bring some freshness into the side.
After beating Swansea City in midweek it looked as though things might start looking up for Potters, but the defeat to Blackburn and the nature of it has sent morale crashing back down again.
Rowett’s side found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, with supporters booing the players from the field at the break.
Just one minute into the second-half it was 3-0, and although goals from Saido Berahino and Tom Ince clawed them back into it, Stoke couldn’t rescue the situation.
Diouf, 30, has played seven times for Rowett’s side so far this season, featuring in a variety of positions in attack.
Diouf missing is not a massive blow for Stoke, but it gives Rowett yet another problem to solve and he has not exactly covered himself in glory so far this season.
This may be a blessing in disguise and could lead to the club stumbling upon the perfect attacking formula, but I would not get my hopes up if I were a Stoke fan.
‘Unbelievable talent’ – 7 things Sheffield United fans had to say after player’s impressive update
There’s no getting away from the fact that Stoke City have had an incredibly poor start to life in the season of 2018/19 and despite the incredibly optimistic ‘we’ll walk this league’ belief ahead of our first kick-off after relegation, well, our opening nine games in the Championship have brought that belief back down to earth.
????Gary Rowett: "Any manager will say that any defeat, given the manner that we lost, is hugely disappointing. It has affected the mood a tiny bit, but players and staff are resilient and we intend to bounce back quickly. It is good to have this game so soon after Saturday. #SCFC
Following on from last weekend’s 3-2 loss to newly promoted Blackburn Rovers, on the one hand we were unlucky to not take a point owing to the Saido Berahino penalty miss, but that would’ve just papered over the glaring inadequacies in our play.
There has been some improvement, but not a lot, certainly in defence and Nottingham Forest will be no walkovers later this evening in the third round of the EFL Cup at the Bet365 Stadium.
Rowett also admitted in his pre-game press conference that he would be making changes, but as well as admitting that the spirit in the camp had dipped following the defeat – they were hardly on a high to begin with – he spoke about not wanting to cause issues with the players as if he was oblivious to his own rant previously about Moritz Bauer.
Some fans are already calling for his head and if the mood needed proving, his comments about free agents – but not wanting to sign somebody who hadn’t played or trained for three months – simply attracted responses of ‘he signed Sam Clucas’.