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Stoke deserve top 10 hit - Etherington

STOKE winger Matthew Etherington feels the team must ensure they get what they deserve for their efforts this season by securing the club's first-ever top 10 Premier League finish.

With their interest in other competitions ended on Sunday with a 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Liverpool, the Potters can now focus solely on the league as their gruelling campaign -- which has so far featured 46 games, including a run to the last 32 of the Europa League -- nears its conclusion.

They have 10 top-flight fixtures left to contest and head into tonight's clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane lying 14th in the table.

Since making their Premier League debut in 2008-09, Stoke are yet to finish in the top half of the division.


But they only missed out by a point last term and are currently the same distance away.

They have been above the midway point for much of the season and Etherington believes the Potters owe it to themselves to get back there.

"We've got to finish this season strongly," the former Spurs player said. "We deserve to finish in the top 10, I don't think anyone can argue with that.

"We missed out last season, but if we can make sure this time around, then I think you can say it's been a successful campaign."

Etherington's sentiments have been echoed by Stoke chairman Peter Coates.

"We should not underestimate the achievement of finishing in the top 10," said Coates. "We also need our fans to be as good as they have always been, because there is still a long way to go."