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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Skipper Eyes Top Half Finish


STOKE captain Ryan Shawcross was delighted to see his side reach the forty point mark following a hard fought victory over Hull City last weekend.


Peter Odemwingie's second half strike was enough to earn the Potters their third consecutive Barclays Premier League win and cap off a perfect month that saw Mark Hughes' side end March unbeaten.

More importantly, the win over the Tigers saw Stoke climb within six points of ninth placed Newcastle United and fourteen points clear of the bottom three.


Shawcross says the Potters can now set their sights on finishing in the top half of the table and admits the Club will continue to keep their magnificent run going for the remainder of the season.


"I'm delighted to have reached the forty point mark, but we're not stopping now because we want to hit the targets that the manager set us at the start of the season," he said exclusively to Stoke City Player.


"Finishing in the top ten is a real possibility so it's up to us to carry on believing in our ability and hopefully pick up more points to guarantee that happens.


"Ending the season as the top Midlands is also in our grasp. The manager has set us targets to achieve and if we can do that in his first season here, it would be brilliant.


"We need to continue to work hard and keep up the pace. We have some very difficult games coming up, but we can look ahead and push on for the remainder of the season."


City recorded their tenth clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win over Hull, with Shawcross continuing to build a formidable partnership with Marc Wilson.


The duo have conceded just three goals in the last five games and Shawcross praised the Republic of Ireland international since coming in for the injured Robert Huth back in December.


"Marc has been fantastic since coming in and filling the void in Huthy's absence and he has probably been one of our best players in the last few months," he said.


"He's been great and done very well, but you'd expect that with him being an international player.


"He has a good understanding of the game and he's shown the talent he has, he's been brilliant for us.


He went on to say: "We've got some very gifted players in this squad and we are in a very good place at the moment."


Stoke travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in front of the live television cameras this Saturday.


It is a chance for Mark Hughes' side to record an unlikely double after defeating the Blues earlier this season and Shawcross says the Potters can go to the capital in buoyant mood.


"We aren't frightened of anybody and with the run we're on we can be confident in our ability and performance.

"When we played them in the FA Cup game, I thought we were solid and maybe if a couple of chances dropped for us we could have nicked a replay.


"We've beaten the big teams and put in some excellent performances so we will go there full of confidence and hoping to get a result."

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