The Potters won 4-2 at relegation rivals Barnsley to move above their opponents in the table.

Michael O'Neill "obviously delighted" after dream start to Stoke tenure

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  • 2019-11-10 03:05:12 3 days ago
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Michael O'Neill was full of praise for his new Stoke side after they won 4-2 at fellow strugglers Barnsley to give him a victorious start as manager.

The day after his appointment, O'Neill saw his team move off the foot of the Championship table thanks to Sam Clucas' double.

O'Neill said: "We had to match their desire – no-one has a God-given right to be in the Championship.

"I'm obviously delighted with the result. It's one step in the right direction. It's very pleasing. It was a very good performance.

"Sam had a great performance and they were two great goals. His all-round game is excellent, hopefully the knock isn't too serious.

"In this third of the season, it is very important to get the three points. We showed a lot of quality today. The key was to make sure we got the result and the performance.

"They tested us to the max and they deserve a lot of credit for that."

O'Neill will remain in charge of Northern Ireland for the remainder of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

"It's important for me to finish the campaign with Northern Ireland," he added. "The players have given me everything for the last seven, eight years. It was a hard decision, but I thought it was a risk worth taking."

The new manager saw the Potters open the scoring after only seven minutes as Brad Collins in the Barnsley goal passed the ball straight to Clucas, who chipped the ball back over him from more than 35 yards.

Stoke doubled their advantage though Lee Gregory's penalty, but Cameron McGeehan pulled one back two minutes before the break.

Joe Allen made it 3-1 and Clucas added a fourth with another long-range effort before Patrick Schmidt got another one back for the hosts, who slipped below their opponents to the bottom of the table.

Barnsley caretaker-manager Adam Murray said: "The goals we conceded today are individual errors and that's the story of our season so far.

"It gets past frustrating and you get a little bit angry with it. The fans do and the players do.

"It's something I've said in the changing room – the players have to start taking responsibility.

"It's happened too many times for players not to learn and take that ownership. It's time for them to stand up."

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Michael O'Neill "obviously delighted" after dream start to Stoke tenure

Lee Bowyer left gutted after Charlton lose to Millwall at the death

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer could not hide his disappointment after his side were on the receiving end of a Matt Smith stoppage-time winner as Millwall triumphed 2-1 at the Den.

A sixth-minute header from captain Shaun Hutchinson put Millwall in front, but they were pegged back shortly after half-time by Jonathan Leko's smart finish.

The game looked to be heading for a draw but Smith, brought on with just four minutes remaining, rose at the back post to earn the hosts all three points, leaving Bowyer ruing missed opportunities in what he believes was a dominant display.

"I'd have been disappointed with a point! We can't afford to not win this game, because I thought we were the better side," Bowyer said.

"I may be biased but this is what I'm watching, us playing the way we're playing. To come away with nothing is so disappointing. I can't express how disappointed I am.

"I thought we were better than them. I thought we dominated large parts of the game. First half we conceded an early set-piece which gives them something to hold on to but once we started passing the ball then we dominated the rest of the first half.

"Once we equalised I thought here we go, we're going to go and win the game. We were better than them. When we're moving the ball, we created a lot of problems for them.

"Once we equalised we stopped passing the ball, it became more of an even game, but I still felt that we'd go on and win the game, but we end up losing and getting nothing.

"We have to defend better. We've lost this game on two set-pieces. Defending set-pieces is easy, you just make sure your man doesn't score. That's it. It's simple.

"But for some reason their man wanted to score more than our man wanted to defend. And their goalie obviously played really well, but to come away with nothing, that's ridiculous."

The result extended Millwall's undefeated run over Charlton in the league, which charts all the way back to 1996, and the thrilling end to the game excited Lions boss Gary Rowett.

He said: "As a manager you want to win 3-0 and have a really easy afternoon, but if you can't do that there's no more exciting way to win a local derby than in the last two or three minutes.

"It was a difficult game, Charlton are a good side. They've shown that this season.

"I think at 1-1 it was a real turning point. People talk about Bart's (Bartosz Bialkowski) save, it's an unbelievable save, but their keeper has also made an unbelievable save so, I think we probably just edged the chances, Charlton edged possession and control.

"They then dropped a bit, and allowed us to get back into it. And then, we're at home, we've got to make attacking changes and try and force the game.

"If you put quality into the box with Matt he's the best in the division in those scenarios. As soon as he comes onto the pitch the players have to avoid just hitting him from anywhere and lacking respect for him as a player. We've got to work it into better positions to get the cross."

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Result: Brentford earn comfortable win at Wigan to move into top half of Championship

Brentford moved into the top half of the Sky Bet Championship, and within touching distance of the top six, after a straightforward 3-0 victory at struggling Wigan.

Bryan Mbeumo fired the bees in front just five minutes into the match before second-half strikes from Kamo Mokotjo and Josh Dasilva made sure of the win.

Both sides finished the contest with 10 men, with Cedric Kipre seeing red for the home side and Julian Jeanvier taking an early bath for Brentford.

Wigan were out of sorts right from the off, with Kieffer Moore playing a 70-yard ball from deep inside Brentford territory towards his own goal and goalkeeper David Marshall only just preventing the ball going out for a corner.

But the respite was only temporary, with the Bees taking the lead with only five minutes gone.

Dasilva supplied the corner from the left-hand side, which Christian Norgaard was able to meet, unmarked, from six yards out. Marshall made the initial save but Norgaard steered the rebound back to Mbeumo, who stabbed home from close range.

Wigan's first sight of goal came from Moore on the 25-minute mark but it drifted wide of the far post with David Raya untroubled.

Jamal Lowe thought he was in for Wigan just before the half-time whistle, lobbing the ball over Raya and towards the empty net. However, Pontus Jansson somehow got back to volley the ball up against the bar and off the line – with only the offside flag denying him the clearance of the season.

Brentford would have been pleased with the way they had been able to largely control the ball and keep Wigan at arm's length, and the home side will clearly have been subject to some harsh words from manager Paul Cook at the interval.

Wigan came out for the second period with a spring in their step and Michael Jacobs had a low shot saved by Raya at full stretch.

The hosts went for it on the hour mark with a double change, throwing on Josh Windass and England Under-18 star Joe Gelhardt for Jacobs and former Bee Lewis Macleod.

But almost immediately, a tough task became tougher when Brentford doubled their advantage with 20 minutes to play.

Marshall did well to claw out a cross from Dasilva, but Mokotjo was on hand to rifle home from 15 yards.

And any chance Wigan had of pulling it back disappeared within three minutes when Kipre was dismissed for a second bookable offence, taking down Ollie Watkins in full flight.

The visitors then added salt to Wigan wounds with a glorious third goal with seven minutes to go, with Dasilva sending a magnificent strike into the top corner from 20 yards.

Wigan's misery was compounded in the six added minutes when Gelhardt had to be carried off on a stretcher having taken a nasty blow to the head.

In the melee that followed, Brentford's Jeanvier was sent off, with Williams of Wigan receiving a yellow card.

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