Stoke City boss takes extraordinary aim at players ahead of Leeds United showdown

Stoke City boss Nathan Jones. (Getty)Stoke City boss Nathan Jones. (Getty)
Stoke City boss Nathan Jones. (Getty)
Stoke City boss Nathan Jones has taken aim at his own players ahead of this weekend's Championship clash with Leeds United.

Jones, who was speaking following the Potters 3-1 defeat to Preston on Wednesday, has seen his side fail to pick up a victory in their opening four league fixtures of the campaign.

City fell behind early in just the seventh minute at Deepdale and failed to recover as Alex Neil's side cruised to all three points following two crucial mistakes from goalkeeper Jack Butland.

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The 46-year-old, though, made his feelings clear following the game with his team sat at the foot of the Championship table with a single point.

“We are on the bus and it’s on Sky Sports about him (Butland) being left out of the England side,” Jones told The Sentinel.

“Everyone talks about him having to leave for his England place, but he’s got to do his job for Stoke first.

“I don’t know where mentally he must be because there’s so much talk about him.

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“You don’t go from being a top goalkeeper to making the errors he is, there must be something playing on his mind.

“But look, he’s a top keeper who trains really well, but it doesn’t help us.

“I have to pick a side to win a game because if I don’t, trust me there will be a lot more than Jack Butland to worry about.

"Since I’ve come here there’s been a hangover of players wanting to leave, players thinking they are proper players, players wanting to go and play in Europe, players thinking of their international careers.

"There hasn’t been a group here together who wants to play and focus and win games for Stoke City, that’s a problem.

"I thought we made big strides in that, but evidently we haven’t.”