Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday April 23 2009
The season is fast approaching its conclusion, we`re safer at this stage of the season than many feared possible, but we mustn`t lose the impetus to push on.
Europa League qualification is still within our grasp and although Stoke City will provide stiff opposition this Saturday it is a fixture we should be looking to take all three points from.
Ahead of the clash, our defensive lynch-pin, Aaron Hughes has spoken to the media about possibly qualifying for Europe remarking,
"Our primary goal this year was to stay in the league - it's pretty safe to say we've done that. So now, we just have to try and finish as high as we can. If that is good enough to get us into a European spot, then so be it,' Hughes told the club's official website."
'Going from where we were last year to possibly qualifying for Europe would be a massive jump."
'I think we've already surpassed expectations a little bit, but if we could top it off with a European spot it would be great for a lot of people."
'Obviously we have some tricky games coming up so it will still be a tough ask. But it's within reach and finishing seventh is not impossible.'
Although Europe still remains a valid discussion point, Hughes doesn`t waste time in re-iterating the necessity to pull out good performances between now and the end of the season starting with Stoke, when he remarks,
'Looking at the table I think Stoke are pretty much out of it, (relegation trouble).'
'Their win last weekend was a big one and I'm sure they'll be coming here looking for another good result so it'll be a tough game. "
'We know how Stoke play, they're quite direct and they have big, strong players so it will be a test. But as we showed up there, when we got the ball down and knocked it around we played some good stuff and they found it hard."
'It'll be a good game so there's no reason why we can't be confident of getting something"
All of a sudden a game that didn`t look that attractive is starting to get my attention!
Date:Thursday April 23 2009
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