x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

All Kenwyne Jones needs is a goal

Kenwyne Jones is desperately seeking his first goal in eight games as Stoke City host West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League.

Out-of-form Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones has been told to forget the softly-softly approach as he looks to end his goal drought.

Jones scored four goals in four successive games, and six overall in his first 14 appearances, following his club record £8 million (Dh47.2m) arrival from Sunderland last summer.

But since the middle of November the Trinidad & Tobago star has found the net just once in his last 15 matches, and is currently on an eight-game barren run.

It led to Jones being dropped for the first time this season for last Wednesday's 1-0 loss at Arsenal, where he was an unused substitute.

Dave Kemp, Stoke's assistant manager, has hinted at personal issues for Jones' loss of form, but maintains that all he needs is a goal.

"Things go on in people's lives, little things that affect them - I don't want to discuss someone's personal stuff too much - but he'll be back buzzing very soon," said Kemp.

"You can do all sorts of things like put an arm around someone, but it's up to Kenwyne. He's a big boy.

"He just needs a goal - that's the biggest thing. If he can score it will give his confidence a boost. He doesn't need somebody blowing sweet nothings in his ear.

"His own inner belief will take over and we'll see the old Kenwyne back."

Asked whether Jones' personal problems were something he could overcome himself, Kemp added: "I had a big electricity bill the other day that upset me.

"Things go on in everybody's life, and some affect you more than others.

"But Kenwyne's fine, no problem at all. He'll be back firing on all cylinders very soon.

"He is a fantastic talent - someone who did very well when he first came here. He is just going through a dip right now.

"There is no doubt his form will return because he is a class player, and he has all the tools to cause teams major problems.

"We've complete faith he'll be performing at the highest level very soon."

It remains to be seen whether Jones will be restored to the line-up for Monday's Premier League visit of West Bromwich Albion, who have a dire record against Stoke.

Stoke have lost just one of the last 26 league meetings between the two sides stretching back to 1988, and since 1983 are unbeaten in the last 17 at home.

Winger Matthew Etherington is doubtful with a back-related injury, while defender Abdoulaye Faye is poised to miss a fifth successive game with a hamstring problem.

 

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