SATURDAY'S goal-scoring hero Dean Whitehead says the players could not have asked for a more perfect eight days . . . after rounding off a tough three-game week with a third consecutive victory.
The midfielder stepped off the bench at the Hawthorns on Saturday and fired home what proved to be the decisive strike, to maintain a superb run of form for the Potters, which has yielded 13 points from five
The victory against the Baggies came on the back of successes against Fulham and Newcastle United, and elevates the Potters up into ninth place in the Barclays Premier League, a spot Whitehead feels justifies the
start to the campaign the side have made.
"It was an absolutely fantastic win for us," the midfielder told Stoke City Player following the game. "To come here, to the Hawthorns, where West Brom have been picking up points for fun, and for us to get the three
points is a great achievement.
"It's rounded off a tough, tough week for us with our ninth point from three games, and that is absolutely brilliant for us. We have put a lot of work in this week, with the games that we have had to play, so to come
out with wins in each of them tells you a lot about this group of players.
"We are moving up the league now, and we are in a position which we feel we want to be in come the end of the season. The target is to get in the top ten, and we have put ourselves into a position which reflects
the good start to the season we have made."
He added: "We are flying at the moment, confidence is absolutely sky high, and rightly so. We look forward to going down to Aston Villa at the weekend, and hopefully we can go there and perform equally as well
and pick up another three points."
Whitehead's goal on Saturday was somewhat surprisingly his first in the league since scoring against Manchester United at Old Trafford in January 2011.
But, despite is obvious pleasure at breaking his duck against West Bromwich Albion, he refuses to take credit for the victory, instead preferring to praise the attitude and determination of the entire playing squad.
"It's nice to score, of course it is, I'm not going to lie," he smiled. "But that said, the lads have put in an almighty effort again to keep a clean sheet, and when you do that all it takes is one opportunity to win the
game, and thankfully I managed to tuck it away.
"We have a fantastic group of players here, and the attitude from the lads again on Saturday was absolutely first class. We have a fantastic squad now, and the players who aren't playing as regularly as we like
have to be patient because the other guys are doing a great job.
"As today showed, and on Wednesday against Newcastle, we do have players who can come off the bench though and add something different to the equation. We are moving forward again and we want to make
sure that continues."