Glenn Whelan backs Stoke for top-six finish

Glenn Whelan believes Stoke are good enough to qualify for European football.

Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan believes his side have the quality to secure a top-six finish in the Premier League this season, he has told BBC Radio Stoke.

Mark Hughes’ side have been in good form recently, winning five of their last seven games after making a slow start to the campaign.

Despite lying in 11th place, the Potters are just two points off the top six, and Whelan is confident that the Britannia could be playing host to European football next year.

Speaking on the back of Stoke’s impressive 1-0 away win over Southampton at the weekend, Whelan explained to BBC Radio Stoke: “The belief in and around the squad is that we’re good enough.

“Hopefully we can get there. We need the results – to go to Southampton and win shows just how far we’ve come.”

According to the Republic of Ireland international, Stoke’s good performances of late can be put down to manager Hughes.

The Welshman signed a number of big-name players over the summer, including Inter Milan’s Xherdan Shaqiri and former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay, and Whelan believes his boss has helped to raise levels of confidence within the team.

The midfielder added: “Stoke have always been tough to beat and we want to keep that.

“It’s down to confidence and the way we’ve been playing under the manager – he has a certain style – and everywhere we go, we’ll give anyone a good game.

“The manager’s brought in some top players and you have to keep your standards up if you want to stay in the team.

“They’re pushing us on to keep doing as well because if we don’t play well, things can easily change.

“It’s a healthy squad and things are going well so everyone’s happy.”

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