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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes Sets Spurs Challenge

MARK HUGHES has challenged his side to secure a record breaking fifth consecutive home victory when they play host to European chasing Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow afternoon.

The Potters are on course to secure a first ever top-ten finish this campaign, having enjoyed a remarkable run of form since January that has culminated in 22 points being accrued from 12 fixtures.

The possibility of surpassing the previous best Premier League points tally of 47 is within the side's reach too, having moved to within three points of equalling that total with a creditable 1-1 draw in South Wales last weekend.

A twelfth triumph of the season against the Londoners on Saturday would represent the first time the Potters have taken maximum points from five successive home games since winning promotion back to the top-flight in 2008.

And speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, the Welshman acknowledged that whilst reaching that landmark would be a fantastic achievement, it would more importantly put the Potters to within touching distance of accomplishing their pre-season objectives.

"If we are able achieve that objective [winning five successive home games] then it will be another feather in the cap for the guys in the dressing room," the Welshman smiled.

"We haven't achieved anything yet, but we are here with just three weeks of the season to go with the opportunity of making history on several different fronts.

"I don't believe the Club have recorded five straight league victories at the Britannia Stadium in its Premier League history, so that would be a fantastic achievement for us all if we were able to do that.

"As a consequence of doing that, it would also put us on 47 points for the season, equalling the best ever tally from a Premier League season. A feat that would give us a great platform to build upon in the final two matches against Fulham and West Bromwich Albion."

The City boss knows that his side will have to be at their very best if they are to avenge the 3-0 defeat suffered at White Hart Lane last December - but feels they are far more equipped of doing so going into this particular fixture than they were previously.

"It was one of the disappointments of the season down there to be perfectly honest, not just because of the scoreline, but because of the way we had gone into that game on the back of what happened at Newcastle just 48 hours earlier," he added.

"It was a very difficult period for us given the circumstances of the defeat at Newcastle a couple of days earlier, and to be fair, the lads weren't quite in the same place as they are at this moment in time.

"We are playing exceptionally well at the moment and we are going into the game on the back of a superb run of form, and of course, we have home advantage which really does make a telling difference at this level."

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