Peter Crouch is convinced that Tony Pulis remains the right man for Stoke due to his ability to attract and keep top players at the club.
Stoke have enjoyed great success in their previous six seasons under Pulis' stewardship, but there is a sense in the stands that the team has stagnated this campaign.
Crouch, though, believes Pulis and the Stoke board will kick the club on again once a minor blip has been overcome.
He said: "I look around the club and I can see it getting stronger. The squad is improving every year.
"It's true to say that if you look at most clubs that make progress, they find themselves having to sell the players who do best. But the thing is, that hasn't happened at Stoke.
"Look at somebody like Ryan Shawcross, who has signed a long-term contract when people said he might move on, while Steven N'Zonzi has been a real find.
"You can look at the squad and, season on season, it is always better than the year before.
"Players are happy to sign new contracts because they can feel the club is always moving forward. That's credit to the manager for persuading people to sign contracts and it is credit especially to the chairman, who has been fantastic with the investment he has made in the squad."
He added: "But it doesn't matter what a chairman does or what a manager says, if players sense things are not right they will always move.
"That hasn't happened here and it tells you that the feeling within the group of players is that we can still do a lot more."