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Stoke manager Alex Neil was delighted with his new recruits as full debutants Wouter Burger and Mehdi Leris got on the scoresheet in a 6-1 Carabao Cup thrashing of Rotherham.
The second-round win extends the Potters’ perfect home record to four matches in all competitions this season – a run that started with a 4-1 victory over the Millers on the opening day of the new Championship campaign.
Burger, signed from FC Basel, opened the scoring early on, while Leris, brought in from Sampdoria, completed the rout in the 72nd minute.
“I think it’s important that obviously we try and maintain our home form, which has been good, and it’s nice to score a lot of goals,” Neil said.
“It’s nice to get a lot of new fellas on the pitch as well.
“We’re still in that transitional period where we’re getting boys in and trying to get them on the pitch.
“But we scored some great goals.
“I think to start it, Wout getting his first goal, sort of set us on our way.”
Stoke took a second-minute lead when Burger drove home from distance after picking up Cameron Humphreys’ headed clearance.
Summer signing Ryan Mmaee doubled the home side’s advantage in the 18th minute, bending the ball from Leris’ pull back.
Rotherham skipper Sean Morrison’s header swiftly halved the deficit, but Stoke restored their two-goal lead just before the half-hour mark as captain Josh Laurent arrowed a shot into the bottom corner.
The advantage was further increased as half-time approached, with Tyrese Campbell curling the ball in off the crossbar.
Any slender hopes the visitors had of staging a comeback were dashed in the 55th minute, when Laurent latched onto Campbell’s headed pass and rifled the ball into the net for his second goal, and Leris made it 6-1 with a fine finish 18 minutes from time.
Rotherham boss Matt Taylor, who made six changes to the team that started the 2-1 defeat to Leicester on Saturday, had no arguments with the final scoreline.
“Regardless of the personnel we had on that pitch, I think some of the players can perform better than they did,” he said.
“We knew what Stoke were going to come with because we faced it three weeks ago in the first game of the season, and we still couldn’t match their speed and intensity.”
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