ANDY WILKINSON hailed Stoke City's fans as 'the best in the world' - after admitting their vocal support helped the team hugely in their crucial 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The Stone-born defender, who started the game at left-back in place of the injured Marc Wilson but switched to right-back for the second-half, put in a characteristically-industrious performance as the Potters notched their second Barclays Premier League triumph of the campaign.
He says the 27,529-strong crowd at the Britannia Stadium, the highest gate of the season, pushed the team along to three points against Mark Hughes' strugglers - a result that subsequently elevated them to the sanctuary of mid-table.
"They're amazing, aren't they?" commented Wilkinson after the final whistle.
"I know it was a bit tense, but they're always behind us. They're the best fans in the world.
"We needed them behind us, and once we got the goal the pressure was off a bit and it was nice for everybody."
The 28-year-old agreed with manager Tony Pulis' assessment that the Potters' have played better this season and not got their rewards, but he hopes the three points can propel them to more positive results over the next few weeks.
"The performances have been good - we didn't play as well as we could have today, but we got the result," he added.
"We're buzzing with the result though, and hopefully now we can take that confidence forward.
"It was a massive game and you could feel the tension. Like I said, we were absolutely delighted with the three points."
Wilkinson also believes that team-mate Charlie Adam, who netted his first strike for the Club since his summer move from Liverpool, will now go from strength-to-strength as he continues to settle into life in the Potteries.
"There's no doubting Charlie's ability, and it's good for him and his confidence that he's got off the mark with a goal," he said.
"His performances have been good and hopefully he can get some more goals for us in the future.
"He scored goals at Blackpool, but his delivery is great as well - hopefully he can get some assists for Crouchy and a few of the others. He will be a great player for us."