STOKE CITY Chairman Peter Coates today issued a "stay with us" message to supporters . . . both in the immediate future and in committing to the purchase of Early Bird Season Ticket sales ahead of next Wednesday's deadline.
While Mr Coates is hoping supporters will get behind the team when they face a crucial local derby against West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, he has also urged them to take advantage of the excellent offers which are currently available to book Early Bird Season Tickets for the 2013-14 campaign.
He has stressed the importance of maintaining the special atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium which has inspired the team on so many occasions over the past six years and contributed to the Club's progress in that period.
"Our supporters are vital to us and if the Club is to continue to progress as it has done, then we need them behind us," he commented.
"We get fantastic vocal support and it makes such a difference to us, so we want to see more of that now and in the future as well.
"Everybody talks about the atmosphere at Stoke, which is second to none when the ground is full. It is important for us to maintain that."
He added: "The immediate aim is to make sure that we get a few more points to secure another season in the Premier League.
"Traditionally, we have done very well against West Brom, but they are having a great season, so this will be a particularly tough game.
"We all recognise that we're having a bad run at the moment, but you go through spells like this because this is such a tough League.
"The sooner we get out of it the better, but bad runs generally come to an end much quicker if we all stick together. So we need our fans."
In focusing on next week's deadline for Early Bird Season Tickets, Mr Coates called upon supporters to look at the bigger picture.
"We have had six good years that none of us could ever have imagined, but we are still very much work in progress," he said.
"While things haven't gone as well in 2013 as the previous two years, we're very ambitious and want to make sure the Club goes forward. If we can finish the season well, a top ten spot would be another fine achievement.
"Managing expectations at any club is always a challenge. We all want our clubs to do well, but we can't all do well at the same time.
"We have shared some great times together over the past six years, so we want more of that, but our supporters will play a key part."
He added: "I would like to thank all those fans who have already purchased their Season Ticket and hope that many more of you join them over the next few days, because we'd like all our Season Ticket holders to sign up again.
"We know the economy is not in great shape and times are tough. But we do offer amazingly good value with Early Bird Season Tickets, so we hope people can find the money to come and support us in the way they have done."