Stoke manager Mark Hughes says he is “confident” his side can finish the season on a high after beating Newcastle 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium to climb up to seventh in the Premier League.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored a late winner to secure the win for the Potters, and goalkeeper Jack Butland denied Magpies striker Seydou Doumbia with a stunning stoppage-time save to ensure Stoke took all three points.
Stoke are now seventh in the Premier League, five points behind fourth placed Manchester City, and manager Hughes says it is “important to get momentum” in the closing stages of the season.
Hughes said: “We’re pleased with the three points – it’s three wins on the bounce, we’re in seventh and we’re doing okay.
“In terms of wins we’re very similar in terms of what we’ve been able to achieve. There’s other clubs who have a hell of a lot more resources than us and we’re on a similar level at the moment.
“It’s important to get momentum at this time of the year and it seems like we are. We’ve got a difficult game at the weekend against Chelsea which will test us.
“With the games that we’ve got left, we’re confident that we will get a good total by the end of the year.”
After finishing last season on a great run of form, Hughes is confident that his side can repeat the feat as they look to qualify for Europe.
“We’re hoping that’s going to happen again,” said the Welshman.
“There’s no guarantee of it but the way we work, the way we train and the standards that we like to keep right throughout the year, that sustains us.
“We don’t allow their energy to drop or their focus, that’s helped us every year I’ve been here, so we fully expect that to happen again.”