Former Port Vale striker gives struggling Potters a helping hand

STOKE City can thank a former striker with their Potteries rivals, Port Vale, for helping them in their fight to retain Championship status.

Jordan Hugill, who was signed by the Valiants in June 2013, before moving on to Preston 12 months later, scored the goal for QPR which beat third-from-bottom Middlesbrough 1-0 yesterday.

Hugill, on-loan from Premier League side West Ham United, secured QPR's first win since lockdown with his 15th goal of the season against his home town club, before going off with a hamstring problem.

The 28-year-old was signed by West Ham from Preston in January 2018 for an undisclosed fee and returned to the Championship the following transfer window in a season-long loan to Middlesbrough. He was then loaned to QPR for the 2019–20 season.

Middlesbrough and Stoke, and other club's threatened with relegation, could yet by given a helping hand by Wigan Athletic's impending 12-point deduction for entering administration.

Stoke are only two points above the bottom three after beating fellow strugglers Barnsley 4-0 at home on Saturday.

Manager Michael O'Neill was delighted with the performance of young winger Tyrese Campbell who scored two of the goals.

O'Neill said: "He was always a threat, he did good work, he won the ball back, he pressed well and when Ty is in that mood defenders at this level are extremely frightened of him.

"He's still a young player in his development and it was nice to see him get two goals, but he has to make sure he's as important in the next five games."

The Potters face a tough assignment this Thursday (July 10) when they travel to take on league leaders Leeds United.



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