Stoke boss Hughes targets top-10 spot ahead of Everton trip

The Potters are set to face a Toffees side who are unbeaten at home in 2013, and will be without Robert Huth for a "number of weeks" as he requires surgery on a knee injury
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has set his sights on climbing into the Premier League's top 10 ahead of the trip to Everton.

The Britannia Stadium club picked up their first win in nine league games last time out by beating Sunderland 2-0, lifting them to 14th, and Hughes hopes that the result can prove a catalyst for an upturn in form.

9/1 Stoke and Everton are 9/1 with bet365 to draw 0-0 on Saturday
They travel to an Everton side who are yet to be beaten at home in the league in 2013, although the Stoke boss sees no reason why they cannot get a result.

"Last weekend's victory was huge," Hughes told reporters. "If we could get another win then we could move into the top 10, which is where we want to be.

"It will be a tough game for us. Everton have a lot of very good players, they are proving to be difficult to beat this season too.

"They have threats all over the pitch. [Romelu] Lukaku has been fantastic again this season and looks to be on his way to being a top player.

"We do have threats of our own though and I am looking forward to the game. We are performing well away from home and we will look to maintain that at Goodison Park."

Hughes is also preparing his charges for a busy Christmas schedule and knows the importance of racking up points during the festive period.

"It's a busy period in front of us all so we want to accumulate as many points as possible during this time," he continued.

"You tend to guage an idea of where you will be in the league after Christmas, so we want to be up in the top half of the table."

Stoke, though, will have to do without the services of Robert Huth, who is expected to be sidelined for some time due to needing surgery on a knee injury.

"Unfortunately Robert Huth has got a problem with his knee," he added.

"We hoped that we would be able to manage him through it to be perfectly honest, but it looks like he will have to have an operation on it, so we are going to lose him for a number of weeks."