Why 13 is the lucky number for Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill



Manager Michael O’Neill is as certain as he can be that 50 points will be enough to keep Stoke City in the Championship.

That means a minimum of 13 points from their remaining 12 games – and he reckons recent form suggests they are more than capable.

Stoke head to Blackburn on Wednesday evening with 37 points from 34 games – and O’Neill goes along with those who believe 50 points after 46 games should seal Championship safety.

“I think only once has a team with more than 50 points been relegated in the last 10 years, so yeah, I think that’s probably the target that everyone will strive for,” says O’Neill.

“If it’s less than that, that will be good, but obviously if it’s more then we are going to have to get the points.”

Stoke have taken 26 points from their 19 league games with O’Neill at the helm and he adds: “If we maintain our form over the previous 19 games in these remaining 12 games, I think that will see us safe in terms of the points we will gather.

“But we have to be mindful that we can’t fall into a little slump.

“There will be teams that will, there’s no doubt about that, teams that between now and the end of the season will find it difficult to win games and we have to make sure we are not one of them.”

O’Neill is unlikely to veer far, if at all, from the 11 which started Saturday’s 2-0 win over Cardiff when he takes his team to Ewood Park on Wednesday.

He says Liam Lindsay has returned to training after a recent injury, while skipper Ryan Shawcross is continuing his comeback on the training pitch.





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