Soccer

Alex Neil believes Stoke’s win over Leeds will instil belief into his side

Alex Neil’s side have won their last two games (Nigel French/PA)
Alex Neil’s side have won their last two games (Nigel French/PA) Alex Neil’s side have won their last two games (Nigel French/PA)

Alex Neil hopes Stoke’s 1-0 victory over Leeds helps to breed confidence and belief in his players as they secured successive Championship wins.

Leeds substitute Patrick Bamford could have put the Whites in front 15 minutes from time after being brought down by Ben Pearson, but blasted the resulting penalty over.

It proved costly as moments later Stoke striker Wesley headed against the bar and it went in off Leeds skipper Pascal Struijk as the Potters emerged victorious.

The win followed three points picked up against Sunderland over the weekend and Stoke boss Neil felt his players were energised after Bamford’s missed penalty.

Neil said: “When you go and deliver against two of the better teams in the division and you get six points off the back of it, and you can see how much the lads have put in, I think it breeds confidence in everything we’re doing and that belief is massive.

“I thought there was good spells in the first half where we used the ball really well, I thought there was a 20 to 25 minute spell where we were really on top and probably had two or three good opportunities, but we didn’t really take any of them.

“I think we got a let-off with the penalty, that was the one moment that rode in our favour and then we go up the other end, and I thought the fans completely blew the roof off once the penalty was missed, you could see our players get a bit of energy from that, and we went on and won the game.”

Leeds boss Daniel Farke felt his side missed the game’s biggest chance and Stoke took full advantage of that situation to net the winner.

He said: “You have to be clinical in using your chances and today we missed the biggest chance with the penalty and then you could feel for one or two moments a bit disappointed and the whole stadium was buzzing because we missed the penalty.

“They used this in order to create one or two set-pieces and out of the second they were able to score.

“This is football – we didn’t give one chance out of the game away in the second half, but because we missed this penalty and didn’t put the game to bed, we were for this one moment not switched on and they were able to use this chance and once they were in the lead with just 10 minutes to go, they tried everything, put their bodies on the line to block every shot.

“It’s the Championship, it’s relentless, so congratulations to Stoke and a hard-fought win but I also get the feeling you should travel away with points.”