Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has insisted that he and his teammates are not scared of facing Liverpool and Manchester United in the coming days.
The Potters will take on Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday and then face United at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
On paper, the trips should be daunting for a Stoke side many believe could be sucked into a relegation battle as the season progresses.
However, Mark Hughes’s team have got the better of Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane this campaign, two results that Shawcross claims will give them inspiration against Liverpool and United.
“There’s some big fixtures coming and we can’t wait,” The Stoke Sentinel quotes the 27-year-old centre-back as saying. “It’s all about picking up points at this time of the year and pushing ourselves further up the table. We’ve got a tough run now but we’ve seemed to do better against the bigger teams.
"In the past we may have gone to those grounds with a lot of fear but this time I think we will go there with confidence because of the way we’ve beaten some of the big boys away from home.
“Hopefully that can continue in the next three or four games and we will pick up some points in the next week or so.”
The month of December will see Stoke take on Arsenal and Chelsea at home, and indeed the next few weeks promise to be tough.
However, the Potters have shown this season that they can compete with the big teams. After all, at the moment they are above Liverpool in the Premier League table, and just two points behind Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Winning at Liverpool and United will not be easy for Stoke, but they do have the ability to pick up at least a point from each of those two games.