Assaidi looks to prove a point
Oussama Assaidi hopes he has proved a point to Stoke boss Mark Hughes and parent club Liverpool with his stunning winner against Chelsea.
The 25-year-old Moroccan international's day did not begin well when he was told by Hughes that after back-to-back starts he would have to settle for a place on the bench.
He was given just six minutes to impress, but that proved more than enough, the winger collecting a ball from Stephen Ireland on the left, driving to the edge of the box and unleashing a ferocious drive into the top corner.
It earned Stoke a 3-2 victory, their first league win over Chelsea in 38 years.
Assaidi celebrated his first Barclays Premier League goal exuberantly, removing his shirt and sprinting to the dugout where he was swamped by team-mates.
"I don't know what I did after but I was very happy," he said. "We needed this, and the way we played. We got the three points and everybody is very happy. This will give us confidence for the future."
Assaidi joined Stoke from Liverpool in the summer on a season-long loan but has been a peripheral figure so far, starting only four games in all competitions.
He said: "For the minutes I've been given I think I did well. I've scored two times and I haven't had so many games I think.
"This week I got 90 minutes two times and I'm very happy for this. I wanted to start again but the coach made another decision. I showed that I can create something for the team.
"The coach knows my quality I think because before I went on the pitch he told me, 'Go and win us the game'. He knows what I can do.
"I'm very happy for this confidence but I really want to start of course. I had to be patient until he gave me my opportunity, then I showed (what I can do)."
Even Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was seen to offer words to Assaidi.
"I didn't hear what he said," said the winger. "He's a very big coach and he was also happy for me I think, maybe."
Maybe not, but Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers certainly would have been given Stoke's victory allowed the Reds to move back above Chelsea into second in the table.
Assaidi moved to Anfield in the summer of 2012 from Heerenveen but did not make a Premier League start in his first season.
The 25-year-old remains hopeful he can have a future at Liverpool, saying: "I have two years more and we will see but I'm now at Stoke and I'll do my best.
"(Rodgers) texts me sometimes and I speak sometimes with him. I think the games that I got at Liverpool was not so much but the games I got I did well. If he gives me a chance then maybe I can show (what I can do)."
Hughes has not yet looked into the possibility of keeping Assaidi permanently, and he said: "I think Oz probably still thinks he has a future at Liverpool. He's very much their player but he's doing very well for us and we're pleased that we've been able to have him."
Mourinho was left frustrated by his side's failure to take their chances, but he also has concerns at the other end of the pitch.
It was the second successive game in which the Blues conceded three goals, and they have now let in more goals in the league than in the whole of Mourinho's first season in charge in 2004/05.
He said: "I don't think it's fair to compare players from different generations. They are completely different moments.
"I think this team is a team that has to score goals. We are not a physical team, we are not a team with the conditions to defend against physical teams."