Can the police change their spots?
Injuries may be worrying the manager as the build up continues to the match against Bolton on Saturday, but the biggest question mark is hovering over the Greater Manchester Police.
Some distinctly heavy handed policing last season resulted in some fans being turned back from the City and United matches and Wigan being forced to change the time of the kick-off by the GMP. In the end the police were forced into public apologies and paying compensation for their treatment of some fans before the United game and Stoke scrapped their away card scheme as a consequence of their stubborn insistence on match rearranging so they've a lot to prove this season.
The club say that they've been in dialogue with the force for this season and believe that their attitude towards Stoke fans should now be improved.
Time will tell, but the first test is this weekend with our first visit of the season to the Greater Manchester area and the match against Bolton at the Reebok.