Saturday's game away to Harry Redknapp's nearly-down Premier League strugglers is a must-win for the Potters if they are to avoid relegation, warns the Scottish midfielder
With just five points won since their 3-3 draw with Southampton in December, including a solitary win over bottom-of-the-table Reading, the Potters stand only three points clear of the drop-zone with five games left to play.
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Stoke were handed their third league defeat in a row by league leaders Manchester United on Sunday and the Scot lamented that the Red Devils' early goal made the task even tougher.
"When you lose a goal after three minutes against the champions-elect, it's going to be difficult," he added. "We huffed and puffed to try to get back into the game but we never really created much.
"They've got top players and that's what I was trying to say during the game. I think we tried to rush the game a little bit too much.
"With the wind behind us in the second half, we had a couple of good chances but probably not enough to warrant getting anything out of the game. That's the way it goes.
"It's a sore one to take but there's five games to go and we need a couple of victories."