RYAN SHAWCROSS believes the players will show their fighting spirit over the final seven games of the campaign . . . after conceding that the Potters have slipped into ‘a dangerous position’.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park, the side’s fourth defeat in five, has left them just four points above the drop zone going into this weekend’s crucial clash against midlands rivals Aston Villa.
The Villains find themselves occupying the final relegation spot following their 2-1 loss to Liverpool on Sunday, and Shawcross has pin-pointed the forthcoming encounter as arguably the biggest of the season to date.
“It’s a huge game for us now, just as it is for them too,” he told Stoke City Player.“Every game in the league is massive, but this one even more so.
“We have to be calm and collective and remain level-headed, and I am sure we will be.
“We want to get those three points because it would give everybody connected to the Club an almighty lift. It would be massive for us.”
He added: “We are fighters here, and we still have confidence within us all. We know what we need to do, and we will be going out there on Saturday desperate to get the win we want.”
The skipper was also quick to point out the fine margins between success and failure in the Premier League, citing the performance against the Toffees as one of the best in recent months.
“It’s another situation where we have chances to win the game, we get caught attacking, they score and we somehow lose the game.
“It’s hard to take, of course it is, because there is no doubt about it – we deserved something from it. We controlled the game for long periods so it is frustrating.”
He added: “Before Christmas we were getting those little bits of fortune going our way and we went ten games unbeaten, but at the moment nothing is going our way.
“In football your luck can change, and you have to accept that and not let it get to your head when you are doing well, and equally not allow it to affect you when things aren’t going as you would like.”