JONATHAN WALTERS believes the Potters seven new acquisitions can help the Club write further history this season . . . by securing a first ever top ten finish in the Barclays Premier League.
The likes of Michael Owen, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi all arrived at the Britannia Stadium during yet another busy summer transfer window, bolstering both the depth and quality of Tony Pulis’ playing squad.
Walters feels the new arrivals have helped take the Club to the next level, and he is adamant that with them on board, the team are now more equipped than ever to launch an assault on the top half of the league table.
“We have a very good squad of players here now, with a great mix of experience and good young talent,” he told Stoke City Player.
“To have enjoyed the success we have done over the last few years has been incredible, so it is important to keep moving forward like we have done, and try to get in to the top ten for the first time.
“That is the target now, and with the players we have here, there is absolutely no reason why we can’t achieve that. It won’t be easy, but It is a realistic aim for us given the quality we have here.”
The Republic of Ireland international, who celebrates his 29th birthday next Thursday, has gone on to establish himself as a mainstay in the starting eleven for the duration of his two years with the Club.
However, with the added competition for places, he says he won’t be taking anything for granted, not that he ever has done, and will be using it to spur him on in a bid to retain his regular starting role.
“It’s always good to have a battle on your hands to earn that spot in the team,” he added. “We have a very strong squad here now, and there are a number of players for every position.
“That can only be a good thing for the manager, because it gives him plenty of options coming into games and it also means that the players have to stay on their toes and keep producing the goods.
“I’m desperate to play matches, just as the other 24 lads are who are in the squad, but I won’t be taking it as a given that I am in there.”
He added: “If I’m not performing then I know I will be sitting on the bench, so it’s down to me to keep my place, and I will relish the challenge of trying to do that.”
It’s likely that the former Ipswich Town man will retain his spot in the side for this weekend’s Barclays Premier League encounter against Champions Manchester City – a clash he describes as extremely tough, but winnable.
“We know how tough the game,” he said. “They are one of the best teams in the world and the amount of money they have spent in recent years has been incredible.
“We will give them respect because they are the deserved Champions, but we know that we can get at them and give them as many problems as they give to us.
“We have a decent record against them in the Premier League, and hopefully we can prolong that on Saturday, by taking something from the game.”