Points target – John Coates puts number on survival figure for Stoke City



Vice-chairman John Coates believes three wins from Stoke’s last nine games – taking them to 51 points – will be enough to save them from relegation.

And he is confident of seeing Michael O’Neill’s men achieve that after being hugely impressed with the manager from day one of his four-and-a-half month tenure.

The pair, together with chief executive Tony Scholes, met more than 200 supporters at a Fan Forum at the bet365 Stadium this week.

Coates, who declared the event a success, said afterwards: “Supporters, let’s be frank, have had a difficult time of late, but with Michael we’ve started to see a real upturn in results and performances and hopefully better times are around the corner.

“Since Michael took over, I think we’ve averaged 1.55 points/per game. That’s play-off form and after operating under immense pressure every week.

“That’s some achievement and players and supporters have really engaged with Michael.

“Three wins will make us certain and if we could get those wins as soon as possible I think everybody would feel a lot better.

“We can then start the hard work of putting out a really competitive side next season to try and do a lot better.”

He reiterated the support of the Coates family, despite tough times, stating: “The family as a whole are Stoke supporters and we absolutely feel it when things are not going right and you feel it even more because you’ve got that added layer of feeling responsible for it.

“That’s sometimes not the greatest burden to carry, but we are absolutely focussed on improving things and I think we are seeing the green shoots of that improvement.”





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