CAMERON JEROME believes that this weekend's showdown with Aston Villa holds greater importance to them than it does to the Potters . . . but acknowledges the significance of all three points for him and his Stoke City teammates.
Paul Lambert's side make the short journey north to the Britannia Stadium desperately seeking a victory of their own as they strive to elevate themselves out of the bottom three, having slipped back in to the drop
zone following a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool on Sunday.
Tony Pulis' side, who have recorded just a single win in eleven league games, currently sit four points above the Villans in 13th place in the Premier League table, but know that anything other than victory could leave them in a precarious position going into the final six games of the campaign.
"I think that this is a game that is more important to them than it is to us, at this moment in time," the 26-year-old strike told stokecityfc.com.
"They are right in the relegation mix, and whilst we know that we aren't clear of that threat either just yet, it is a game that Villa know that they really have to win.
"There are seven games to go and a lot of points to be played for, so obviously we want to pick up as many points as possible during that time.
"It's not do or die for us though, not at all, but we do understand the need of getting a win under our belts to give us a bit more breathing space, and in many ways take some of the pressure off."
He added: "We would obviously like to be higher up the table, and have more points to our name, but unfortunately it hasn't worked that way, and we are where we are because of a disappointing start to 2013."
Jerome is accustomed to games of such an important nature against Villa, having featured for fierce rivals Birmingham in several second city derby matches during his successful five-year spell at St Andrews.
"I've played in a few games against them, and the ones for Birmingham were especially a bit fanatical," he smiled.
"The atmosphere was always good, the games were intense and there was always a lot at stake, as you would expect in a derby match of that magnitude.
"They were always tasty encounters, and I am certain that the game against them this weekend will be equally as exciting.
"We find ourselves in a bit of an unfortunate position coming into the game having had a hugely disappointing start to the New Year, as I said before, so it's time for us to turn that around.
"I think it is only a matter of time until we get things back on track and start recording victories again."