Shawcross eyeing Stoke first

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross insists boss Mark Hughes outlined plans in pre-season to finish in the top half of the Premier League.

After making steady progress under former boss Tony Pulis, becoming an established top-flight club, new manager Hughes has taken Stoke to another level, and they are on course for their first Premier League top-10 finish.

And Shawcross insists that, rather than being fortunate in their standing, it has always been the plan to secure a place in the top 10.

"The manager set some targets at the start and one of those was to finish in the top 10," Shawcross is quoted in The Sun.

"We are determined to achieve that because the club has never done it before.

"It would be a great achievement."