Stoke boss delivers major blow to Portsmouth's hopes of landing defender after win over Wolves

Harry Souttar. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty ImagesHarry Souttar. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
Harry Souttar. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
Michael O'Neill lauded Pompey target Harry Souttar's performance in Stoke's 1-0 victory over Wolves last night

And the Potters boss admits the Australian has given him ‘a lot to think about’ ahead of their clash with Bristol City on Sunday.

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The former Fleetwood loanee is being kept at Stoke for the meantime, though, and was an unused substitute in their Championship curtain-raiser at Millwall last weekend.

However, Souttar was handed an opportunity to impress in the Potters' Carabao Cup second-round trip to Wolves last night.

And indeed he did that as the 21-year-old helped the visitors to pull off an upset against last season's Europa League quarter-finalists.

O'Neill heaped praise on Souttar's display at Molineux and is now keen to blood more of his youngster into Stoke's first team.

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The former Northern Ireland manager told the Potters website: ‘It was a great result, a very good and disciplined performance and great to win.

‘We had a lot of younger players start the game and a lot of younger players coming into the game.

‘I'm delighted with the contribution they made and the contribution the senior players made.

‘Right through the team, we did very well. I'm particularly pleased with the centre-backs (Nathan) Collins and Souttar, while (Josh) Tymon and (Tashan) Oakley-Boothe were excellent in midfield as well.

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‘It's imperative we get them playing, it's as simple as that. I think, for too long, the younger players have been away from the starting XI – the likes of Josh Tymon, Tyrese (Campbell), Souttar and Collins have been at the club a while now.

‘When your numbers are high, sometimes it's difficult to give young players an opportunity.

‘We weren't in a great situation last season to blood young players in when I came in.

‘But I've said repeatedly we'd like to see the young players push to start games and they've given me a lot to think about.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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