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Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 09:53 UK

O'Connor hails Reid and Francis

Peter Reid and Gerry Francis
Peter Reid and Gerry Francis are both former England internationals

Stoke City's Mark O'Connor believes the experience of his colleagues, Peter Reid and Gerry Francis, can help him improve as a first-team coach.

Francis have been coaching at Stoke since October, while Reid joined the Potters as assistant manager in August.

"It's brilliant to listen to their opinions because I'm still learning the game," O'Connor told BBC Radio Stoke.

"Peter's played in World Cups, Gerry's been England captain and they've played against the best players in the world."

First-team coach O'Connor added: "We're doing that week in and week out in the Premier League and it can only be good for the team."

The Potters have made a solid start to their second season in the top-flight, taking seven points from their first four matches.

They welcome unbeaten Chelsea to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, and O'Connor has admitted that the team will not be selected until the last minute.

"We've got a rough idea, but until the players come back from international duty you can't work on anything.

"We're not as bad off as some of the bigger clubs, they've probably lost their whole squads, whereas we've only lost three or four players."

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