Stoke keep faith with misfiring Jones

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The Independent Football

Kenwyne Jones has been backed to rediscover his goalscoring touch as he seeks a first goal in nine matches in tonight's visit of West Bromwich Albion.

The Trinidad & Tobago striker began his Stoke career with four goals in six matches after joining from Sunderland for a club record £8m last summer, but has since managed just three goals in 23 games – the last coming in the 2-0 home victory over Everton last month.

His poor form led to his demotion to the substitutes' bench for last week's defeat at Arsenal, where he was remained unused. "He just needs a goal - that's the biggest thing." Stoke assistant manager Dave Kemp said. "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."

Victory for Stoke would see them move into the top half of the table, although Kemp warned against complacency. "I'm sure West Brom are the same as us, and hope they'll have a good run soon and start picking up some points," he said. "We've got to make sure that doesn't start tonight because we want to get climbing up the table again." West Brom fell back into the bottom three following impressive weekend victories for West Ham and Wolves.

Stoke midfielder Matt Etherington remains a doubt after missing the defeat at Arsenal with a back injury. Youssouf Mulumbu returns for the Baggies, while Jonas Olsson could also feature.

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