RYAN SHAWCROSS admitted that some good fortune played a part in Stoke City's first Barclays Premier League win in eight matches . . . but then insisted that it was long overdue after their morale-boosting triumph at Loftus Road.
The England defender drew attention to the fact that City hadn't been getting the breaks during a disappointing run of six defeats in seven matches which had left them hovering precariously above the Premier League's relegation zone.
But it was a different story for the Potters as their 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, courtesy of strikes from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters, gave them vital breathing space in the quest to pull clear of trouble in the remaining games.
"Luck has not been on our side over the past few weeks, but it was in this game and that was one of the major differences," said City's captain.
"We feel that we've played better than the results have shown, but we haven't been getting the breaks; things just haven't fallen for us.
"There is such a fine margin between success and failure that it can often be down to whether one or two things go your way in a match.
"We have been looking forward to games recently because we have believed all along that we should be in a better position in the table.
"We've been on a bad run and a lot has been made of it. Hopefully though, this win has given us the lift we needed for the final few games."
He added: "There are still some big games to come and important points to be won, but we are determined to finish as high as possible."
City's players gathered in a huddle shortly before the kick-off at Loftus Road, something that became familiar in their FA Cup run two years ago.
Shawcross revealed: "When luck is not going for you, you need something for inspiration. We tried this again and it seemed to work."