Mark Hughes is optimistic of getting more points on the board ahead of tomorrow’s visit of AFC Bournemouth to the Bet365 Stadium.
They’ll be rejuvenated with the return of Wales midfielder Joe Allen, although winger Xherdan Shaqiri is out with a sprained ankle.
“Joe looks good, there’s been no reaction in training, so he should be fine,”Hughes told a media briefing this morning.
“Shaqiri has a bad ankle sprain and has been in a lot of pain, so he’s a doubt, think it’s worse than we thought.”
Following last weekend’s 7-2 loss at Manchester City and a return of eight points from eight games, Hughes feels his side has an, “opportunity to get good points”.
“We’ve come through a difficult period, we have points on the board and looking ahead we have a real opportunity in this period now.
“We’re one win off top 10 so we’re in a good position, it’s still early days,” he said.
Despite a heavy loss against City, Hughes was able to hand a debut to 18 year-old Tom Edwards who made an impression, crossing for Mame Biram Diouf to score just before half-time. The youngster pulled up, unable to finish the game, but his manager was singing his praises.
“I told him to enjoy it, it’s a shame he couldn’t complete the 90 but he effected the game with a cross for the goal.
“He would’ve had his debut earlier if he wasn’t injured, he’s a good talent and we have high hopes for him.”
Tomorrow’s game will see the largest attendance of home fans ever in the stadium, largely down to growth of the ‘City 7s’ initiative. The scheme has been relaunched, expanding to 8,000 members, with entry being free to all Year 2 students in Stoke-on-Trent.
Hughes backed the scheme: “It’s a great initiative and we want to stimulate kids interest in their local team.
“I got into football at around six or seven, hopefully we can get them interested in Stoke City.”