Behind Enemy Lines: Stoke City

GARY Rowett takes charge of his first Millwall game this Saturday against his former employers Stoke City.

Millwall will be looking to build on their 2-2 draw with Cardiff on Tuesday and continue their decent start at The Den which has seen them lose just once on their own patch, to QPR.

Alex Grace spoke to Stoke fan Alex Routledge this week.

Why do you support Stoke?

I support Stoke because my Dad has supported them all of his life through the ups and downs and and my Grandad, who did sadly pass away a few years ago, supported them when we were at the old Victoria ground.

What has been your favourite season following the Potters?

I think it would be the 2014-15 season. Mark Hughes was in charge and we managed to beat Liverpool 6-1 on the last day of the season.

And the worst?

Possibly this season. It hasn't been the best so far and we could end being relegated through a lack of effort from our players.

Still, after a slow start, things finally seem to be looking up for the Potters – what have you made of the opening months of the season?      

It has been a tough time for Stoke fans over the last few years.

Relegation from the Premier League was followed up by a poor campaign last season when everyone was expecting a lot better.

The start to this one has been disappointing and we have been working hard as a community to help the Potters through what has been a tough period.

What would be a good season for Stoke? 

Getting out of the relegation zone is the first priority.

The quicker we get away from the bottom three the better and we can then start to look towards moving further up the table. Around 10th place would be acceptable to most Stoke fans now.

Nathan Jones has been under pressure – is he still the right man to take Stoke forward? 

Yes he is.

He has proven to Stoke that we can get wins but it takes time and now that we have two wins in the last three games teams should realise that coming up against Stoke will not be an easy three points.

Gary Rowett is Millwall’s new manager, and he is no stranger to Stoke fans, of course. Do you think Millwall have made a good appointment? 


He is a fantastic manager but he just didn’t have the time at Stoke to push forward. If he had been given that time I think it would have been a different story.

Stoke signed Lee Gregory from Millwall in the summer – how has started in the red and white shirt? 

Fantastic. Stoke fans absolutely love him. He is one of a kind, he is a very talented striker who links up well with the players that were already here and his movement causes teams all sorts of problems.

If you could sign one Millwall player, who would it be and why?

Jake Cooper. He’s a brilliant young defender and he would fit perfectly in Stoke’s squad.

Who will be your key men on Saturday? 

Tyrese Campbell, Scott Hogan and Gregory because they are all fast and know what to do with the ball and know where to be at the right time.

Will you be at the game of Saturday? 

Sadly not this weekend. I will be in my hometown Newcastle to see my brother.

What’s your predicted Stoke starting XI and formation?

4-3-3: Federici; T Smith, Carter-Vickers, Batth, Indi; Ndiaye, Clucas, Allen; Powell, Gregory, Hogan.

And finally, a prediction? 

2-1 to Stoke.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18