James McClean reported to have been involved in tunnel bust-up during Stoke loss

James McClean reported to have been involved in tunnel bust-up during Stoke loss

Republic of Ireland international James McClean has found life hard in the Championship with Stoke City.

McClean moved from West Brom to Stoke after both teams were relegated from the Premier League last season, and the Baggies currently sit 7th with two wins, a draw and a loss so far.

The Potters are in the relegation zone without a win in their first four games and things boiled over on the pitch at half-time against Wigan last night.

Stoke were two down at the break and as the players walked off at the Britannia Stadium McClean, who had been booked in the first half for dissent, was reportedly involved in a bust-up in the tunnel.

Local reporter Paul Kendrick said: "Jack Butland and James McClean had a difference of opinion heading towards the sheds that led to McClean sprinting after his goalkeeper and into the tunnel."

The bust-up apparently continued in the tunnel and Stoke boss Gary Rowett told John Percy of The Telegraph about it afterwards.

Percy wrote: "Rowett also admitted there had been a bust-up at half-time between goalkeeper Jack Butland, captain Ryan Shawcross and James McClean."

McClean, who had been lively in the first half, then saw his side concede a third to Wigan 12 minutes into the second half courtesy of Will Grigg, and even the Derry man's head went down after that.

Rowett said: "Reputations now mean nothing. I’ve got to start picking the team on which players deserve to be in, not which players have played in the Premier League for 10 years.

"It was weak and pathetic and if you do that you’re going to lose games of football.

"When you’re not winning games everybody gets a bit edgy and frustrated. We’ve got to take collective responsibility, it’s no good fighting between ourselves."

The Stoke boss felt his players deserved the boos they received at the end of a 3-0 home defeat to Wigan and bemoaned a poor start.

He said: "I'm not going to try and justify any of that.

"We got the reaction that we absolutely deserved, I'm not going to absolve myself from that, we deserve to be booed, we deserve the stadium being half empty as we haven't been good enough."

"I've got to say to them (fans) that I can completely understand their frustrations.

"I'm not sure whether you can say it was far worse than lots of games last season, it wasn't a good game and I don't think there have been many good performances for a long time.

"For 25 minutes we were excellent. It was fast and attacking, we had opportunities and a goal disallowed that was offside."

- Digital Desk


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