Mark Hughes feels improving Stoke City have yet to hit top form after overcoming a low-key start to the Premier League season.
Having failed to pick up a victory in their first six league matches this term, Hughes’ men have won seven of their last nine games in all competitions, including beating Chelsea twice. But the Stoke boss thinks his side can get better.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sunderland, Hughes said: “I think results wise we’re doing okay, but probably performance wise we still think there’s still more to come.
“We haven’t all clicked at the same time, I think individually we’ve had good games and maybe three or four players within the team have been exceptional but haven’t quite hits the heights we know they’re capable of.”
Stoke signed flair players like Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay in the close-season as Hughes looked to shed the stereotype of the club playing a more direct brand of football.
Hughes, though, believes it is the spine of his squad who have been at the Britannia Stadium long-term who have played a sizeable part in the side’s recent upturn in form.
He said: “We have continuity here – some of the players have been with me here for two, two-and-a-half years and I think that [is] an asset that not many clubs have.
“We use that and we feel confident that that continuity, along with the work we do on a daily basis, gets us positive results.
“There’s not too many teams in as good a form as we are”