Stoke City boss Gary Rowett backs Afobe to rediscover goalscoring form

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The Congo DR international has failed to find the back of the net in five consecutive games

Stoke City manager Gary Rowett has backed Benik Afobe to rediscover his goalscoring form when they face Bristol City in Saturday’s English Championship game.

The forward hit the ground running on joining the Potters from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer, scoring five goals in his opening 11 games.

However, the 25-year-old has struggled to continue with the form, failing to find the back of the net in his last five games.

On Tuesday, the former Bournemouth attacker - playing as a lone striker - in their 1-1 stalemate with Sheffield United was left with only Saido Berahino supporting him from the midfield.

However, the gaffer believes the formation is not affecting the forward and is confident that he will end the goal drought.

“Benik is a player that will score goals, and he has already shown that this season,” Rowett said in a pre-match conference.

“He is a player who needs service, he thrives on that and we saw what he is capable of when he gets balls into the right positions against Sheffield Wednesday.

“We changed formation a little bit on Tuesday evening and maybe rather having two midfielders supporting him, at times there was only Saido Berahino.

“That said, he also knows that strikers sometimes have to provide their own service too, especially when you are playing as a lone striker, and that is something we have been working hard on in training with him.

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“I don’t think Benik being isolated has necessarily been a huge problem for us.

“He has had chances and in another season we would be sat here talking about a player who has already scored nine or 10 goals - that is just the nature of football.

“It won’t be long until he is back on the scoresheet, he is a very confident lad and we all have enormous belief in him as a player.”

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