Stoke can beat anyone and could make top four – Hughes

Date published: Thursday 31st December 2015 1:10

Stoke City: Six points off the top four

Stoke City: Six points off the top four

Stoke boss Mark Hughes admits his side are currently ahead of target this term and is not dismissing talk of a push for the top four.

In a hugely unpredictable Premier League season that, at the halfway stage, sees Leicester level on points with leaders Arsenal and champions Chelsea only three above the relegation zone, the Potters are shaping up well.

Monday’s 4-3 victory at Everton was their third win in five league games – the others came against Manchester City and Manchester United – and they are finishing 2015 only two points off fifth place.

Stoke winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who netted twice against Everton, has been quoted this week suggesting a challenge for a Champions League spot is not out of the question.

And when that was put to Hughes on Thursday at his press conference to preview Saturday’s trip to West Brom, he said: “Who knows in this season?

“Whether this is a sign of things to come and a changing of the order, I’m not too sure.

“But it is fantastic to see the likes of Leicester up there, and ourselves – we are trying to have a go.

“Crystal Palace, West Ham, teams like that – we are in the top half, and we are there on merit.

“All teams such as ourselves are going into games thinking we will back our ability against anybody and see how far it takes us.

“Up to this point we have been really encouraged by what we have produced and we just have to keep it going.

“We know we can beat anyone in this league, although there are a lot of teams who will say exactly the same.

“So it is about having that consistency, and if we can get that, who knows where we can go?”

Hughes, whose two seasons at Stoke so far have seen him guide them to back-to-back ninth-placed finishes, added: “We had targets before the season, and we’re above where we thought we would be at this stage.

“That is encouraging, and the second half of seasons have been strong for us, so we are looking forward to 2016.”

A notable element of flair has developed in Stoke’s play under Hughes and Shaqiri’s second goal against Everton appeared a perfect example of that as he met a lofted pass with one touch that sent the ball floating over Tim Howard and in from the edge of the box.

Some observers have hailed it as a goal-of-the-season contender, although others have questioned whether the effort was a fluke.

The debate continued on Thursday, with Hughes saying: “I’d like to think he meant it – although unfortunately I heard (Stoke midfielder) Charlie Adam on the radio saying Shaq told him he didn’t! I would have kept quiet myself!

“Irrespective of whether he meant it or not, it was still a fantastic goal. But you shouldn’t really doubt Shaq because he has the ability to do something like that.”

Related Articles

Your Say

Home Forums Stoke can beat anyone and could make top four – Hughes

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by selbystokie selbystokie 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #765482
    James Marshment
    James Marshment
    Keymaster

    Stoke boss Mark Hughes admits his side are currently ahead of target this term and is not dismissing talk of a push for the top four.

    [See the full post at: Stoke can beat anyone and could make top four – Hughes]

    #766010
    SensibleS7
    SensibleS7
    Participant

    A lot more consistent this term, they have balance and they are winning home and away.

    Special mention to Shiqiri and Arnautovic top top draw and understated – happy-go-lucky with a good attitude and could take Stoke even further in distance.

    They are capable of beating any team in the Premier League and a top 4-6 finish can’t be ruled out.

    #766328
    selbystokie
    selbystokie
    Participant

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if we DID finish in the top four with Bego leaving us to go to Chelsea? As it stands at the moment he would have had a better chance of playing in the Champion’s League with us – and he would still probably be first choice keeper and not sitting on the bench every week.

    #864702

    Swisspotter
    Participant

    I read somewhere that Bego wanted to leave Chelski in the summer to get more games. That was about as predictable as a cheese sandwich tasting of … well … cheese! I still think he will end up at Old Trafford when De Gea finally gets his move to Madrid – though with Son of Peter performing wonders at the King Power, maybe not such a shoo-in as it might have been.

    #865719
    selbystokie
    selbystokie
    Participant

    Yes, methinks that Bego made a big mistake – sometimes it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small one in a large pond.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply this topic.