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Stoke fail to strengthen key areas

Stoke assistant boss Dave Kemp admits defensively the squad is unbalanced despite deals during the transfer window. Kemp said: "We've brought in two excellent young players but they are both for the future.

"To be honest, the squad is unbalanced. We've been aware of that since the summer. We tried to correct it in the last window and didn't manage it, and the plan was to get through to this window and address it and unfortunately we haven't.

"So there is a bit of concern there. And we also let two senior players go out on the preface we were bringing players in, so in some respects you could argue we're a bit weaker than it might appear from the outside.

"A left-back is one - we are short of left-sided players in the club. We let Matty Upson go so there's another one we were hoping to replace.

"In each window, I think the way football's gone now you have to keep freshening the squad up. We didn't do it this time last year, and I felt we suffered for that a bit, we did in the summer window but we've missed the boat again a little bit."

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Dave Williams

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