JACK RODWELL has played down his flashpoint with Steven N’Zonzi, as he renews acquaintances with the Stoke man today.
The two midfielders were involved in an ugly altercation during the first half of Stoke City’s Capital One Cup victory at the Stadium of Light 12 days ago.
Rodwell – by his own admission – produced a poor sliding tackle on N’Zonzi, but the Frenchman reacted by grabbing the Sunderland summer signing by the throat.
Both players were issued yellow cards, but Sunderland boss Gus Poyet was adamant that N’Zonzi should have been dismissed.
But when asked about their reunion in today’s Premier League encounter, Rodwell smiled and replied: “That will be interesting!
“It was one of those.
“People react differently and I’m not complaining about it.
“I made a bad tackle on him, to be honest, and then he raised his hands.
“By the letter of the law he should have gone, but...”
Stoke’s victory to eliminate last season’s finalists from the League Cup last week demonstrated the greater creativity which is in the Potters’ ranks these days, compared to the physicality and direct approach of the Tony Pulis era at the Britannia Stadium.
But as Sunderland look to end their search for a first Premier League victory of the campaign today, Rodwell believes Stoke’s touch of flair may open up attacking opportunities for the Black Cats.
“The players who have come in have brought something different – people like Bojan (Krkic),” added Rodwell.
“They have a bit more flair about them, but to be honest I think that can work to the advantage of the other teams.
“I thought they were really solid with Tony Pulis in charge and hard to beat.
“They still are, but there are definitely more chances to be had against them now.”