Whelan targets top ten
Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan has set his sights on finishing in the top half of the Premier League after returning to form in recent weeks.
Last Updated: 08/12/11 10:10pm
Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan has set his sights on finishing in the top half of the Premier League after returning to form over the past couple of weeks.
The Potters' involvement in the Europa League this season has made for a gruelling schedule and they have found it difficult to juggle domestic and continental demands.
However, back-to-back victories over Blackburn and Everton have catapulted Stoke into eighth place ahead of this weekend's home clash against Tottenham, and Whelan is looking for more consistency as the campaign develops.
"We always knew it would be a difficult season," the 27-year-old told the club's official website. "It is tight at the top and it is even tighter towards the bottom.
"It's important not to take too much notice of the table at the moment though, and just concentrate on doing the right things for ourselves out there on the football pitch."
He added: "We know what we want to achieve this season and that is a spot in the top ten. Only we can influence that and nobody else, so we are working towards that, and after the last few games we are back on the right track."
Whelan accepts that it will be difficult to beat in-form Tottenham, who are on an 11-match unbeaten run, but is taking confidence from Stoke's results against other top teams.
They have picked up points at home to Manchester United and Chelsea already this season, whilst also beating Liverpool.
"They are probably playing the best football in the league at the moment and we know it will be a huge challenge for us," Whelan said about Tottenham.
"But, at home, we have always done well against the big teams at the Britannia Stadium.
"We seem to stand up, stay strong and give a good account of ourselves in these sort of fixtures, so hopefully we can do the same on Sunday."
Whelan added: "We have beaten them (Tottenham) once this season (in the Carling Cup) so that will stand us in good stead. It may not mean a lot on Sunday, but approaching the game it gives us belief that we can do it again."