Stoke City boss Mark Hughes believes that he is still capable of delivering a top ten finish this season despite having no victories even after five games into the campaign.
The home match against West Brom on Saturday was a great opportunity for the club to get the first league win under way. However, it was not to be as the two teams could only manage a 1-1 draw. As a result, the club remain just one place above the bottom of the table and are fast being pulled into a relegation battle even at this early stage in the campaign.
Hughes managed to get the club into ninth place last season and it was seen as a commendable achievement given that there was a transition period at the club. They had expected to build on the success of last season, but so far it has been a very poor start to the campaign. It puts a lot of pressure on manager Hughes, as Stoke City would want to build on their Premier League status and not be involved in a relegation fight. One of the major worries for the club this season has been the defence, which has already conceded 15 goals in just six games.
“We’re not bottom of the league and we won’t be at the end of the season. We’ll be where we hope we’re going to be and we’ve still got time to hit the targets we set ourselves.Does that mean finishing in the top 10 again? Yes. It’s still very early. It’s a long old season. I think you’ll see at some point the teams where you expect them to be. We don’t expect to be in the bottom three. We are at the moment but we’ll address it,” said Hughes after the draw with West Brom.