Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has defended his three summer signings over their inconsistent form.
He admitted both players have experienced troubled debut seasons for varying reasons and, at times, they have had to be taken out of the firing line for their own good.
Pulis revealed: “We made some big signings and I don’t think anyone would say Steven Nzonzi hasn’t done a fantastic job. But sometimes things happen which you just can’t legislate for.
“Charlie Adam has had a personal tragedy in his life with the tragic loss of his father. He has had problems to face this year which you wouldn’t wish on anyone.
“We have been as supportive as we possibly can. The club has, I have and, irrespective of his particular situation, if Charlie or any player needed help we would be there for them.
“Charlie was one of our big signings and people don’t always appreciate that players are human beings and need to be treated as such. Michael Kightly started really well for us but lost a bit of form — having said that the whole team lost form and wingers normally suffer when that happens.
“It is usually the players with that little bit of flair who dip when confidence isn’t high. But we have high hopes for Kights because he is a top player.
“Now it’s all about bringing that out again when we need it most.”