Butland says Stoke's quality will secure top-half finish
REUTERS - Stoke City have the quality to win their next few matches and ensure they finish the season strongly, goalkeeper Jack Butland has said.
Stoke, who have finished in the top half of the Premier League table in each of the last three seasons, are currently 11th with five games to play and ended a four-match losing streak beating Hull City 3-1 on Saturday.
They are one point outside the top half, having played one game more than 10th-placed Watford and two more than ninth-placed Southampton, who they face in the final game of the season.
"There is still the belief we can reach our targets and we have the players to do it. It's in our own hands and it always has been," Butland told the club's website. (www.stokecityfc.com)
Stoke travel to third-bottom Swansea City on Saturday before facing 13th-placed West Ham United and 16th-placed Bournemouth, and host top four-chasing Arsenal in the penultimate match of their campaign.
"The next three games are against sides that are struggling at the bottom of the table and who are going to fight to win points," Butland added. "We then have two big games to finish with against Arsenal and Southampton.
"Every game will have something riding on it and I think that's good, because if there were a few 'nothing' games then it would be a bit more difficult, but with everything at stake in each of them then it is right up our street."
Butland, who was on the bench against Hull, has not played this season due to a long-term ankle injury.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Gareth Jones)