Stoke City’s Premier League meeting with Swansea City on Saturday is a must win game that can get their stuttering campaign back on track, manager Mark Hughes said on Friday.
Stoke are 16th in the table with just one victory in their last seven league games and Hughes stressed the importance of claiming three points to end a run of results that he believes have not reflected the team’s performances.
“For our own benefit it feels like a must win game, I have to be honest,” Hughes told a news conference.
“People who watch us play week in week out know we are a good side and a side who can compete at this level… we have to go out there and take the points that our performances deserve – we haven’t done that recently.”
Swansea are second-bottom of the league with nine points and have not won since beating newly promoted Huddersfield Town 2-0 in October.
“They have good attacking threats and they have a bit of pace about them too, so it is difficult to see why they are struggling,” Hughes said.
“They will look at the game against us and hope it is the one that kick-starts their season, but we have to make sure that isn’t the case. “We want to be strong and get the job done – we have been close in recent weeks, but we haven’t finished the job, so we need to do that tomorrow.”
Midfielder Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting suffered a knock on his ankle in Stoke’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool on Wednesday but will be fit for the visit of Swansea.