22 Feb Teenager Campbell could get Stoke call
Stoke will again be without Peter Crouch when they face Leicester this weekend and Potters boss Paul Lambert is considering bringing young striker Tyrese Campbell into his matchday squad.
Veteran frontman Crouch missed the 1-1 home draw with Brighton last time out due to an ankle infection.
And Lambert on Thursday said that while the 37-year-old was “doing well”, Saturday’s contest at the King Power Stadium would come too early for Crouch, adding: “Maybe next week (Stoke travel to Southampton next Saturday) is realistic for him.”
Campbell, the 18-year-old son of former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, has scored 12 goals in 15 Premier League 2 appearances for Stoke’s Under-23s this season, including a hat-trick against Fulham last weekend.
And when asked about a possible promotion for the teenager to the senior matchday 18, Lambert said: “He’s trained with us and I will decide tomorrow if I put him in the squad, but he’s in my thinking, that’s for sure.
“If he’s good enough, I will throw him in.
“I’ve always done that. I needed a manager myself when I was younger to throw me in. Without the belief of a manager, I would never have had an opportunity.
“Tyrese has done great, he’s scored a lot of goals and there’s only so long you can ignore that for, before you get a chance.”
Lambert also confirmed defender Bruno Martins Indi would be involved after missing the last three games, and said: “There are one or two little knocks there that we will look at tomorrow and see how they are.”
Midfielder Stephen Ireland (calf) remains sidelined.
Stoke are 19th in the Premier League ahead of the clash with eighth-placed Leicester, two points adrift of safety with 11 games to go.
They failed to make the most of a golden opportunity in the Brighton match on February 10 when they were awarded a 90th-minute penalty.
There were heated exchanges over who would take it, with Jese Rodriguez, who had won the spot-kick, complaining in particularly animated fashion that it should be him, before Charlie Adam did so and saw his strike saved by Mathew Ryan.
Lambert said after the game he would have been more concerned if “everybody shied away” from taking it, and stressed there was “not a blame culture” at the club.
It seems he will not be designating penalty-takers, with the Scot telling Stoke’s website last week that his attitude to spot-kicks is: “It goes to whoever is most confident, whoever feels good at that moment.”
He added on Thursday: “I’ve played with great players who have been assigned penalties and then don’t want to hit them because they are not having a good game.
“I know exactly how it works, and if you’re confident and you think you can step up and hit it, then why not go and hit it?”