STEPHEN IRELAND believes that he and his Stoke City teammates are just a victory away from turning their stuttering campaign around.
The Potters find themselves hovering precariously above the bottom three going into Saturday’s encounter against fellow strugglers Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium, having endured a run of eight games without victory.
However, Ireland feels that the side have shown their qualities in a number of matches during the barren run, and feels that three points against the Black Cats would give the players even greater belief.
“We aren’t down in the dumps or worrying about things because we know we are a better team than where we currently find ourselves in the league table,” the on-loan Aston Villa man told Stoke City Player.
“Obviously we haven’t done ourselves any favours by throwing points away in a number of games recently, but we have to take the positives out of those games rather than dwell on the negatives.
“There is no doubt about it, at Swansea we should have held out and won the game. To have lost that would have been a devastating blow, but we pushed on and got a point in the dying stages.
“It is disappointing of course not to have won the game, but had we have lost in then these past two weeks really would have dragged for us.
“We have put some good work in on the training pitches though, we are feeling confident and we know that we are just one victory away from being in a nice mid-table position.”
He added: “It’s been fine margins so far this season, and we are disappointed that we haven’t picked up more points, but hopefully starting on Saturday we can put that right and move ourselves up into a position that we feel we are more deserving of.”
The Republic of Ireland ace also admits that it was a massive relief for him to open his Premier League account for the Club, having gone over two years without netting in the top-flight.
“It was fantastic,” he smiled. “It’s what I enjoy doing, and hopefully now I can kick on and go on to hit double figures for the season.
“That is what I am aiming for, and that is a target I know that I am capable of reaching.
“I feel I am getting fitter all of the time, and I feel I am getting used to things a lot more now having gone for so long without really playing any football.
“I’m really enjoying myself here, the dressing room is fantastic, and working with the staff here is absolutely brilliant.”
To purchase tickets for Saturday’s game against Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium click HERE; call (01782) 367599 or visit the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office, Potteries Shopping Centre store or the Club’s ‘PopUp’ store in Roebuck Shopping Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme.