Fletcher Keen To Continue Momentum

Darren Fletcher

DARREN FLETCHER says Stoke City must do their utmost to maintain their recent upturn in fortunes as they continue their busy festive programme with matches against Chelsea and Newcastle United in the next few days.

The Potters have picked up four points from their last two games in the Premier League thanks to a win and draw against West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield Town respectively.

That run has lifted the club up to 13th in the Premier League table and although Fletcher acknowledges that the tide has turned somewhat, the side have to continue to make strides forward.

“We are in the process of turning a corner but we need to maintain it now,” the former Manchester United midfielder told Premier League Productions.

“We did go through somewhat of a sticky patch, there’s no doubt about that, but we’ve responded with a couple of good results.

“We need to pick ourselves up and go again because there is no rest with such a short turnaround with Chelsea and Newcastle United to come. The Premier League is relentless and we need to be ready for it. 

“We need to show better form in the second half of the season and if we do that, and cut out some basis mistakes, we’ll find ourselves in a decent place in the league."

City had previously endured a poor run of results before the Christmas having only won one of their previous eight Premier League fixtures.

Despite this however, the vastly experience midfielder says that heads didn’t drop and that manager Mark Hughes helped them get back on track.

“No not at all because we knew what we were about and not playing as poorly as people were suggesting,” the 33-year-old said.

“We knew that we were making silly mistakes which every single one seemed to be punished and we also had a few decisions go against us.

“We had to rise above that because there was no point feeling sorry for ourselves. 

“The manager was fantastic. He was so calm and had total belief in the squad and that transcended down to the players who have confidence in themselves.

“There was pressure, no doubt, but you have to embrace it, which we did, and I think that shows the sort of team we are.”

Tickets for the New Year’s Day home game against Newcastle United are available – visit the bet365 Stadium Ticket Office, or call on (01782) 367599.