Saturday 17 March 2018

Weiss makes stunning first impression

Kitson 13
Taylor 85, 88

Neil Johnston

NO one who witnessed Saturday’s cameo appearance at the Britannia Stadium will be able to accuse Vladimir Weiss, the Slovakia coach, of favouritism should he name his son in his World Cup squad.

Weiss Jnr, who is also called Vladimir, has been criticised in his homeland after failing to start a game for Bolton Wanderers since joining on loan from Manchester City in January.

But Weiss can expect to spend more time on the pitch than on the bench after the young substitute inspired Bolton to an astonishing win, which all but seals their Premier League status and rekindles the player’s hopes of making it to South Africa.

Coyle’s decision to introduce Weiss for the final 20 minutes turned the game upside down, the 20-year-old providing the cross for Matthew Taylor to score the winner three minutes after the former Portsmouth player had equalised from a free-kick.

Weiss has been dreaming of making an impression after being kept out of the side by Lee Chung-yong. “I came here hoping to play a lot, but it hasn’t really happened, and I have been feeling really frustrated,’’ Weiss said after his impact performance.

“I haven’t been playing much so it was nice to come on and do something positive. It’s really hard when you come on near the end, especially if you are losing, so I’m happy that I came on and we turned the game around. I’m hoping that, with three games to play, I’ll finally get to start after this. Looking ahead to the World Cup, I want to play as much as possible

Tony Pulis will be delighted to see the back of Taylor this season. Back in September Taylor denied his Stoke team three points with a last-minute equaliser with a penalty at the Reebok.

On Saturday he punished the hosts, who had led through Dave Kitson, for some sloppy finishing. Even after Bolton had come from behind, there was time for Abdoulaye Faye to equalise, yet the Stoke captain conjured up one of the misses of the season from close range.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Sorensen; Huth, Ab Faye, Higginbotham, Collins; Lawrence (Etherington, 72), Whitehead, Whelan, Delap; Kitson (Beattie, 83), Tuncay (Fuller, 77). Substitutes not used: Begovic (gk), Pugh, Wilkinson, Moult.

Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson; Lee (Weiss, 71), Ricketts (Klasnic, 45), Muamba (M Davies, 83), Wilshere, Taylor; K Davies. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Cohen, Samuel, Elmander.

Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire).

Booked: Stoke Whelan; Bolton Muamba, Wilshere.

Man of the match: Weiss.

Attendance: 27,250.

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