Manager Gary Rowett laid out to the media details of a club that is eating itself alive from the inside out.
Having been relegated from the Premier League last season, Stoke City is winless in its first four matches of Championship play. Their most recent loss came in devastating fashion, conceding a pair of penalties and losing 3-0 to newly promoted Wigan.
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“It was weak and pathetic and if you do that you’re going to lose games of football,” Rowett said after the match. “When you’re not winning games everybody gets a bit edgy and frustrated. We’ve got to take collective responsibility, it’s no good fighting between ourselves.”
Rowett’s final phrase referred to an incident at halftime that took place in the Stoke City locker room, with goalkeeper Jack Butland, captain Ryan Shawcross and winger James McClean all shouted at each other during the break. “Reputations now mean nothing,” Rowett said after the match. “I’ve got to start picking the team on which players deserve to be in, not which players have played in the Premier League for 10 years.”
New Stoke signing Tom Ince blasted two shots both over the bar in the opening 15 minutes, before Wigan took the lead on the first of two Will Grigg penalties. Ince had some brutal words for the team after the match. “We must man up, grow some balls, put ourselves on the line and actually show some hunger to put things right. We have to make this a horrible place to come.”
For Wigan, American international Antonee Robinson would have picked up an assist had Nick Massey not been fouled, leading to Grigg’s his second penalty.