Port Vale striker tweeted last summer he would score 40 goals a season if he faced the City defender every week
Sunday 5 January 2020 16:39, UK
Port Vale striker Tom Pope says John Stones would not speak to him after their game at Manchester City on Saturday due to his social media comments about the defender.
Pope tweeted after watching Stones play for England in last summer's Nations League that he would score 40 goals a season if he faced the 39-cap international every week.
The 34-year-old scored Vale's goal in their 4-1 defeat to City in the FA Cup third round and says the current holders invited the League Two side's players into their dressing room after the match.
However, Pope says his attempt to strike up a conversation with Stones did not go smoothly, explaining: "They all dragged me in, the Man City players, but John wouldn't speak to me.
"It was a little bit awkward. I shook his hand but he wasn't too happy."
Pope, whose goal at the Etihad was his 109th for the club - a post-war record - then wrote on Twitter after the game: "I'd just like to say I was completely wrong and bang out of order to say I'd score 40 a season..... it's more like 50."
Speaking to reporters after the game, he added: "It was only banter and people have dug it up because we've drawn Man City. All of a sudden it's everywhere and people have been on my case about it.
"He's a world-class centre-half. I was just saying he wasn't very physical and that's it. If people think I'm wrong, well, I don't care.
"I spoke to [Benjamin] Mendy and he said all their players had battered him for weeks about it and they got him that wound up about it, and then obviously I've scored and he's probably devastated.
"But I was just hoping I got a half chance to try to put one away. The last thing you want to do is get beaten 7-0 after everything that's gone on Twitter, not score and everyone laugh.
"It was nice to shut a few people up to back up what I said but it's water off a duck's back. I wasn't too bothered about it either way."