Pennant targets top-10 finish

10 April 2012 04:17

Jermaine Pennant insists the Stoke players will "not be on their holidays" for the remainder of the season and are targeting a first top-10 Barclays Premier League finish for the Potters.

Stoke have effectively secured a fifth successive year of top-flight football after collecting four points from their two Easter games - including Monday's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

Pennant, who set up Robert Huth's equaliser at Villa Park, said: "We are not on our holidays even though we are safe. The manager (Tony Pulis) wants us to finish 10th or higher because of all the hard work we've put in all season. It would be great for the club to do that. We are going to keep going until the final game of the season."

Pennant added: "The gaffer wants top 10. We have broken a lot of records for Stoke and he said to the lads 'you deserve a top-10 finish'."

Stoke played their 51st game of the campaign at Villa Park after a lengthy Europa League schedule which began in July.

Pennant admitted: "A lot of players are feeling tired but we are going to have a couple of days off now, we've got a free weekend, and then we've got a massive game against Newcastle.

"We played basically 10 games before the league season started. It does take its toll but we are professionals and we've been doing this for 10-odd years."

Centre-back Robert Huth scored with a trademark header from a set-piece to earn Stoke a point against Alex McLeish's side - his fifth goal of the season and second in two games.

But Pulis, whose side fell behind to a superb strike from Villa striker Andreas Weimann, said: "I think if you speak to Robert, he'll be disappointed he hasn't got more goals this season

"He and Ryan Shawcross attack the ball very well and, when we get good quality and movement, it's difficult for teams to defend. It was a first-class ball from Jermaine, Robert worked himself free and, as soon as he's up there, you knew it was going to be a goal."

Source: PA

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