Sport Soccer

Sunday 21 January 2018

Kemp rues injuries

Phil Medlicott



Stoke assistant boss Dave Kemp felt the Potters had their momentum disrupted by injuries at the Britannia Stadium. Having fallen behind to Scott Parker's first-half opener, the hosts started the second period brightly and almost immediately equalised as Kenwyne Jones got his head to Jermaine Pennant's cross.

Jones saw a shot tipped onto the post by Robert Green soon after as Stoke went in search of a winner, but the striker was then removed from the action. Jon Walters and Pennant were also substituted and the match finished level, with Kemp revealing that all three changes had been forced.

"We started very slowly and we are disappointed with the way we played in the first half," said Kemp, who has been handling media duties since the death of manager Tony Pulis' mother last week.

"I thought after half-time we started to play much better and had some opportunities that hit the woodwork, but the injuries didn't help us. Every time we seemed to be getting a head of steam up, we seemed to pick up an injury to an important forward player.

"I think that affected us, so on reflection it could be two points lost, but maybe it was one gained. It is a groin with Kenwyne, a hamstring possibly with Jermaine and an ankle with Jon Walters."

West Ham were without their manager for the entire day, with Avram Grant observing Yom Kippur. But in his absence, the team secured their first point of the season.

Sunday Independent

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