As Stoke City chase a new Premier League points record for the club, manager Mark Hughes is not allowing his players to relax ahead of this weekend’s trip to relegated Burnley.
Stoke finished last season ninth with a record 50 points, a feat matched currently with two games still to play.
Although Stoke are unlikely to catch Swansea City in eighth – Garry Monk’s men have a six-point advantage – Hughes wants his side to finish the campaign as strongly as possible.
“We’re doing really well and we are continuing to work hard until the very end which is what I demand,” he told the club’s official website.
“Hopefully, if we get more positive results in the last two games then it will put us in good heart for next season as well.
“The players accept now that we don’t give them any respite. It’s about achieving what you can, when you can and we have a perfect opportunity to beat last year’s points total.
“It’s up to us to see that through starting with Burnley on Saturday. It will be their last home game of the season and they’ll want to finish well in front of their own supporters so that’s never easy.
“But, we’ll be confident after last weekend’s performance and see it as a good opportunity for us, so let’s go and see if we can do it.”
In the reverse fixture back in November, a brace of Danny Ings goals saw Burnley come away from the Britannia Stadium with a 2-1 victory.
That success, coming on the back of a 1-0 triumph over Hull City, raised hopes that Burnley could upset the odds and maintain their Premier League status.
However, just four more wins have followed since the game at Stoke, as Sean Dyche’s men were consigned to relegation last weekend, despite another 1-0 success over Hull.
Since their drop to the Championship was confirmed, Dyche has been responding to criticism of Burnley’s prudent transfer spending.
“Money can help and it does in most walks of life, but it can’t conquer everything,” he said. “We will learn from the experience and there is bound to be a debate about finance because most of football, particularly at the top level, is based around it.
“But I can’t make it any clearer: there are clubs in this country who are hundreds of millions in debt.
“This club has decided not to go down that road, and yet is still being heavily questioned – criticised even, including myself – for not spending enough that could have ruined the club. We have built a club and I don’t want to throw it under a bus.”
Dyche has no new injury worries ahead of the clash, while Stoke are expected to have goalkeeper Asmir Begovic back available after undergoing “a slight procedure”. Victor Moses (hamstring) remains doubtful.
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