A NUMBER of Tony Pulis’ first team fringe players were given the opportunity of building up their match fitness in a reserve team friendly against Rochdale at the Clayton Wood Training Ground on Tuesday afternoon.
The likes of Kenwyne Jones, Wilson Palacios, Rory Delap, Matthew Etherington, Thomas Sorensen and American international Maurice Edu all started for the Potters in the behind-closed-doors encounter.
Assistant Manager Dave Kemp took charge of the side as they slipped to a low-key 2-1 defeat against their League Two counterparts, with Academy striker James Alabi on target for the hosts just 24 hours after
bagging for the Under 21s in their narrow 3-2 loss against Aston Villa.
Speaking following the clash, Kemp said he was pleased to see the lads out there getting some much needed playing time under their belts.
“The game was solely arranged to get the lads who we feel need some time out on the pitch playing again,” he told stokecityfc.com.
“The result was irrelevant really, it was just about getting the lads out there, playing some football and building up their match fitness levels.
“It also gave us a chance to have a look at one or two players who are knocking on the doors of the first team too, so it was a worthwhile game for us to play.”
He added: “The only disappointment was Wilson (Palacios) having to come off with a little knock, because up until that point I thought he looked fantastic. We will assess him and see how he is over the next couple of days.”