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'Not there yet': Michael O'Neill not celebrating Stoke City safety after big Birmingham win

Stoke City 2 Birmingham City 0


Drop fears: Michael O’Neill’s Stoke are still in trouble

Drop fears: Michael O’Neill’s Stoke are still in trouble


Drop fears: Michael O’Neill’s Stoke are still in trouble

Stoke boss Michael O'Neill insists his side are not safe yet despite their 2-0 win over Birmingham.

Danny Batth bundled home from close range to give the Potters a 12th-minute lead.

Sam Clucas doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time as Stoke opened up a four-point gap on the relegation zone.

But O'Neill was quick to warn that his players cannot relax just yet.

"I don't feel we are there yet," he said. "We have to get as much as we can out of the final three games, but it's nice to get to a point where you think another result will be enough.

"It is about trying to win the next game and if we do that we will put even more distance between us and the other teams and that is our objective.

"Today was a good performance and we hope for that in the remaining three games.

"It was a good home win, it is never routine. We played well in the first half and should have been more than two ahead.

"We created some very good chances. In the second half we were deeper which is natural. We played on Thursday and Birmingham had nothing to lose.

"It was a good defensive effort from the team. A lot has been made about Thursday, but we were beaten by the best team in the league.

"We have worked hard on set-pieces and it was good to get another goal from one today.

"We still have to work on it and improve on them, but we always look a threat at corners."

Caretaker Birmingham boss Steve Spooner admitted his side had not been good enough.

"I am disappointed with our response to the goals in the way they developed," he said.

"If we are serious about what we want to do we can't give those opportunities away.

"We started to control the game more after the goals and had more possession, but we did not create enough to score goals. "

Belfast Telegraph