Manager Tony Pulis believes one more victory will secure Stoke City’s place in the Premier League next season.
After a dreadful run of form that saw Stoke win just one of 14 league fixtures, the Brittania Stadium outfit were sucked into the relegation dogfight.
But goals from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters gave Stoke a crucial 2-0 win at QPR on Saturday, a result that has seen them move six points above the relegation zone.
Pulis is not getting complacent though, insisting his side need to win again to confirm their survival ahead of Saturday’s home match against Norwich City.
“We’ve been in a ‘must-win-game’ situation for the last three or four matches now. We’ve four to go, and we need to get a result in one of those,” Pulis said.
“The three points against QPR helped, but we still need to get to 40 points, which has been the target from the beginning of the season. I personally think we will be safe with 40, and our goal difference is good, so that’s almost an extra point for us.
“The sooner we get to that then the more relaxed we will be, and with a lot more smiles on people’s faces. The pressure comes off.
“The players got what they deserved last weekend. I keep saying it, but we’ve played better away from home but not got the results, which eats away at confidence.
“Winning at QPR has given them the confidence and belief again that we took into games, but never took out of them because of results, and results are everything.
“We needed those three points, but we still need three more, and until we get them no-one will be relaxing here.
“We just have to make sure we stay focused, get the three points we need, and if we can do that then we’ll be a Premier League club for the sixth year running.”
The Stoke manager also hailed the impact of Crouch in the win at Loftus Road and is hopeful he can finish the season strongly.
“After missing a couple of games recently he looked really fresh, and played really well for us on Saturday. For the last couple of weeks he has been back to his best,” Pulis said.
Stoke are sweating on the fitness of winger Matthew Etherington (back), while defender Marc Wilson (hamstring), midfielder Charlie Adam and striker Cameron Jerome (both ankle) are also in doubt.