Sam Clucas isn’t going to let the league table intimidate him into thinking Stoke should settle for a point at Blackburn tomorrow night (7.45pm).
He insists they are not only good enough to beat anyone in the Championship, but also points out they can’t afford the luxury of picking and choosing their games with so many relegation rivals winning at the moment.
“It’s a cliche when everyone says all the games in the Championship are tough… but they are,” says Stoke’s consistent midfielder.
“You can see that from the results, like Barnsley going away to Fulham and winning 3-0.
“It’s got to be a professional performance from us to go away from home and get a result. We are going to go there trying to get the three points.
“It’s a massive week for us if we can go and get seven to nine points from three games. We will certainly go there full of confidence after the win over Cardiff.
“We never go into any game saying ‘a point is good enough’. That’s not how we do things.
“We know we are good enough to beat anybody on our day, and we’ve got to look to try to get nine points this week.
“If you look at it, maybe the big one is Luton on Saturday because they are in and around us, so you don’t want them gaining points on you.
“But like I say, we need to be picking up three points in a lot of games because the teams below us are winning.”
Stoke kicked off their three-game-week with last Saturday’s 2-0 success over Cardiff before trips to Blackburn tonight and Luton on Saturday.
“Beating Cardiff was important after two poor results and two poor performances really,” Clucas reflected.
“We’ve now got two tough away games this week and it’s always tough to go away and try to get a result in this league.
“We always seem to start well in games, but it’s about taking our chances to get a lead and then keeping it.
“We did that at QPR with two goals, but then let in two straight away and we were a bit naive there.
“If you go away from home and get a two-goal lead, then you’ve done the hard work basically, but we let ourselves down by conceding those two straight away and that put us on the back foot and we lost a bit of confidence.”
The bottom of the table is squeezing ever tighter and Clucas sees increasingly more clubs looking over their shoulder.
“We’ve got more teams involved now – it’s not just a four/five team horse race because there’s a few more been pulled into it now.
“That’s important, but we know we have to concentrate on ourselves and then we will get out of it.
“We can’t be looking at other people’s results and expecting them to lose. If we keep winning, we’ll be fine.”