Alex Smithies

Has made a major impression on Cardiff City’s team. Has an established link with centre-backs Morrison and Nelson, saying: “We feel comfortable together. Moz and I have played so many games together, including our time at Huddersfield. We know each other well. We’ve worked really well with Curtis and our understanding is there.” Smithies is solid, safe and distributes the ball well when he is in possession 7

Jazz Richards

Are you watching Giggsy? Jazz is re-emerging as a potential Wales international. Okay, he was not at his best against Stoke, but he has been playing well consistently and manager Neil Harris describes his form as ‘outstanding’. I hope Ryan Giggs takes notice 6

Joe Bennett

Another defender battling to find his best form. Can be dangerous going forward when he delivers accurate crosses, but was made to struggle defensively and failed to go forward often enough 5

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Sean Morrison (capt)

Captain ‘Mozza’ is the kind of guy who would have held his hands up after a below pare personal performance. There were too many Bluebirds misfiring and the skipper was among them 5

Curtis Nelson

A day when a number of players struggled – and Nelson was among them. Culpable when Joe Allen scored, but hopefully he will learn from the experience and come back stronger. He is a decent prospect 5

Marlon Pack

A key player for the Bluebirds through midfield. A leader who can set the tempo and command things from midfield. Not the quickest and never will be, but effective at Championship level 6

Will Vaulks

Struggled to find his energy, aggression and compete in midfield. This wasn’t the usual Vaulks way. He usually intimidates opponents vocally, but this was a far quieter performance 5

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Josh Murphy

Come on Josh. Believe in yourself and deliver for the Bluebirds. With Lee Tomlin injured you, above all, have the creative spark to brighten up the team. We want consistency – you certainly have an awful lot to give. We just want more 5

Albert Adomah – Man of the Match

Gifted winger who will play a major role for City over the rest of this season. Loves to run and challenge defenders. He does that will great effect 7

Callum Paterson

Scotland the Brave as always, but little went right for the big man. He tried, worked and battled, but this was a difficult game for him 5

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Danny Ward

Neil Harris doesn’t seem to have decided yet who his best striker is. Ward was given the nod against Stoke with Tomlin out injured and Paterson as his strike partner. That link didn’t work. Glatzel deserves another chance, but no matter who plays, who will create openings with Tomlin missing 6

Subs:

Junior Hoilett for Josh Murphy 66

Robert Glatzel for Danny Ward 69

Gavin Whyte for Jazz Richards 90

Neil Etheridge (gk) – Not used

Aden Flint – Not used

Leandro Bacuna – Not used

Joe Ralls

Stoke City: Butland, Allen, Bath, Ince, Chester, Smith, Martins-Indi, Clucas, Powell (Cousins 81), Campbell (Gregory 90), Thompson (Collins 85). Subs not used: Davies, Vokes, Oakley-Boothe, Tymon.

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 25,436