Nathan Jones backs new Stoke signing Sam Vokes after penalty miss

Stoke manager Nathan Jones is convinced new signing Sam Vokes will come good following the striker’s penalty miss in the 2-0 defeat at Hull.

Vokes, who agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal from Burnley on transfer-deadline day, had a nightmare debut when his spot-kick in first-half injury-time was saved by David Marshall.

Jones said: “It’s a frustrating thing when you get an opportunity like that.

“It was his first game and he maybe lacked a little bit of match sharpness, but I’m sure that didn’t affect the penalty.

“He will come good – we know that.”

Astonishingly, Stoke have now missed nine of their last 12 penalties in league and cup competitions.

Jones said: “It’s pretty much an epidemic at the minute. We’ve missed so many penalties. We’ve had different (penalty) takers, but it’s strange.

“It’s really, really strange.”

Vokes’ penalty miss was the defining moment in a tight Sky Bet Championship encounter, in which Jarrod Bowen’s artful free-kick had given Hull the lead just before half-time.

Stoke had the lion’s share of possession from the outset, but they lacked bite up front and only had two shots on target.

And a home win was confirmed after 64 minutes when Kamil Grosicki stabbed home Fraizer Campbell’s astute cut-back.

Jones said: “Results breed confidence, and if you don’t get results it’s difficult to instil that confidence.

“I was really pleased with the way we played in the first half, apart from when we conceded from the free-kick.

“In the second half we started very well, but we could have had a little more cutting edge.

“We got in opportunities, without having killer instinct.

“We’ve got to make sure we now start picking up results. It’s difficult circumstances, but we’re working tirelessly to change that.

“We have to progress a little quicker than we are. We are still a work in progress.”

Hull head coach Nigel Adkins highlighted a strong team ethic as a major factor behind his team’s return to winning ways.

The East Yorkshire side’s 10-match unbeaten run ended at Blackburn last weekend, but they are now four points off the play-off places.

This was also Hull’s fifth consecutive home victory in the league.

Adkins said: “It was an excellent 2-0 victory and another clean sheet.

“We are in good form. Our defensive shape was excellent and our counter-attacking threat is phenomenal.

“The pivotal moment was an excellent save by David Marshall. Was it a penalty? It was a big, big call.

“We came into the game with five centre-backs missing, but we’ve got a good blend of youth and experience and have an excellent culture at the training ground.

“We’re a team and everyone is working hard. Together, everyone achieves more.

“The response in training this week from Blackburn has been excellent.

“The run we have been on is phenomenal. We all work so hard for each other, and that was epitomised today.

“We’re four points off the play-offs now. And we’ve got to keep enjoying what’s going on.

“It’s another victory at home. It’s a good environment and a good togetherness – and that’s hard to achieve.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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