Steven N’Zonzi has set his sights on a victory on the final day to earn Stoke a top-10 finish in the Premier League for the first time.
After one win from their first 13 games of 2013 Stoke have picked up seven points fro
m a possible 12 to move themselves clear of the relegation zone and just two points behind West Ham in 10th.
The French midfielder insisted that the club were fully focused on their final game of the season against Southampton, and were aiming for a top-half finish for the first time since their return to the top flight in 2009.
“It’s good that we are safe now, but we want to get into the top 10 for the first time,” he told the club’s official website. “It is the last game of the season and we want to go out in style.
“You always want to finish the season well, because it gives you a happy feeling when you go away for the summer break.
“It has been a long hard season, and we are ready for the break, but before that we want to go to Southampton, perform well and get the result that gives us a chance of finishing in the top 10, and earning the financial rewards that are on offer for the club.”
N’Zonzi experienced the pain of relegation last season at Blackburn Rovers and Stoke boss Tony Pulis took advantage of that to sign the 24-year-old in August.
“It’s been a good first year for me,” N’Zonzi added. “Obviously there are ups and downs, and games when I have played better and games when I haven’t performed as well as I can.
“That’s football though, and I am learning here. It takes time when you move to a new club, but I feel I have fit in well here, and I am enjoying being a part of things at Stoke.
“Hopefully I can be better next season, and hopefully as a club we can push on too. That is the ambitions of us all.”