Stoke City now head into the international break this week after Saturday’s 0-0 road draw against QPR. They took four of their last six possible points available against Hull City and QPR, landing them at 14th on the table with 12 points coming out of the break. Stoke City has only missed out on points once since Alex Neil became manager on August 28th.
Coming out of the break on October 2nd against Watford, there will be arguably little time to prepare for upcoming opponents. The Potters will have a jam-packed fixture list playing ten games between October 2nd and November 12th.
Stoke City’s Plans for International Break
The work won’t stop entirely for Stoke City over the next couple of weeks. Stoke City manager Alex Neil has set the team’s training schedule for the international break. Talking after the QPR game to StokeonTrentLive, Neil said:
“They (the team) will have a bit of time off, but we will be in – they’ll (the players) have a couple of days off, couple of days training on rotation. We’ll be trying to work on a few things.”
No official date was given on when the players will return to training. But given Neil’s quote, it appears the players will be given at least a little time off and then will return to training soon. Neil and his coaching staff may also get a little time off, but will mostly stick around Clayton Wood to prepare for crucial matches ahead.
A big plus for Neil with the upcoming break is it should give the team much-needed recovery time for player injuries. Following the QPR match, Neil alluded to this being a perk when speaking to the media:
“I view it (the international break) in the fact that there [are no games. I may get some players back, hopefully. And even if they’re not back by the end yet, it’s another two weeks where I don’t have to play matches without players available.”
Neil will be hoping that the break will give players such as Dujon Sterling time to heal. He’ll want his best players to be ready to start with some huge matchups ahead before teams head out on break again. The next break is set for The World Cup in mid-November.