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TEAMtalk Your Say

From the Editor:

Welcome to TEAMtalk's Stoke City Your Say forum - the place to be for positive Potters!

It was important after the disappointing performance at Chelsea that Stoke responded with a better display against Newcastle and, although it was more patchy than perfect, it was certainly an improvement.

More importantly, the three points moved us to within touching distance of a first-ever top-10 finish in the Premier League. If Mark Hughes can manage that, on top of the transformation in style he has implemented, he will be able to reflect on a hugely successful first season.

The Newcastle game itself was strange in that Stoke never hit top gear yet could have easily racked up their biggest win of the season. Steven N'Zonzi, Peter Odemwingie and Charlie Adam all had chances - and how Peter Crouch didn't score at least one I'll never know.

Newcastle were poor and are clearly lacking in confidence at the moment but it is still a sign of how far Stoke have come this season that they were able to create so many chances without playing at their best.

Most of them, of course, were created by the excellent Marko Arnautovic, who after a slow start to life in the Premier League has begun to look like one of the club's best signings in recent memory.

With Hughes likely to have more money to spend this summer, particularly if Asmir Begovic leaves, it is really exciting to imagine the front four he could build.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of our recent good form, though, has been the return of the defensive solidity. Stoke have now conceded only one goal in their last four home games and all of this without Robert Huth. The future really is looking bright.


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