Stoke City chairman Coates hoping final push can boost transfer activity

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates believes finishing the season in the top half of the Premier League and beating Liverpool 6-1 will help them to recruit new players.

Mark HughesStoke City side were 5-0 up at half time in their final league game of the season against Liverpool. The end result, 6-1 to the Potters, ensured that Steven Gerrard’s final Liverpool appearance before joining MLS side LA Galaxy was to be a miserable one.

Stoke are now looking to build on consecutive top-10 Premier League finishes for the first time in the club's history, and club chairman Peter Coates is convinced their impressive end to the season will help manager Mark Hughes to bolster his squad.

"Ending the season in the manner that we did has certainly helped," Coates told Stoke City Player.

"The more established you are the better the quality of players that you are able to attract. We have got a number of targets but it is never easy to get them in.

"We are working on it though and hopefully we will be in a position to start the season with a stronger and better squad than we ended the last season with.

"That is obviously the objective, but for that to happen you need one or two things to fall into place. There are players who have been identified by the recruitment team, which Mark Hughes obviously oversees, and there are opportunities for us to maybe get one or two things done.

"Everybody wants to bring the best players available to their club, and we are no different. We are looking to add to the quality we already have here."

The Potters finished ninth in the Premier League table, just 10 points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth. Their aim next season is not to better what they achieved this year, but to match it again.

Strengthening a few areas in the squad will make that easier. For instance, in the season gone by, Stoke had a goal difference of plus three. For the upcoming campaign, they can improve that by signing a goalscorer, because defensively they are pretty sound.

Mame Biram Diouf, however, had a reasonably good season in front of goal, scoring 11 times in 28 league appearances. The former Manchester United striker is renowned for winning aerial duels but will be hopeful of netting more next season.

There is plenty of scope for improvement throughout the side, though, and Hughes will be working hard to identify targets that can offer something different to his ranks.

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