Coates happy with three ninths in a row

19 May

Stoke's League Cup semi-final second leg win against Liverpool at Anfield in January so nearly provided the high point of their season, only for the Potters to be beaten on penalties

Stoke City’s 1-0 Capital One Cup semi-final second leg win against Liverpool at Anfield in January so nearly provided the high point of their season, only to be beaten on penalties

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says he is satisfied with his club’s feat of finishing ninth in the Premier League for the third straight season.

The Potters’ points total of 51 was slightly down on their 2014-15 Premier League best of 54 points.

But Stoke suffered an injury list that robbed them of key players like skipper Ryan Shawcross and Jack Butland.

“If you look at the the injury list we’ve had a pretty good season,” Coates told BBC Radio Stoke.

“We’re doing pretty well. We almost got to a final. We only narrowly lost in the League Cup semi-final to Liverpool and we’ve finished ninth three times. That is a good season.

“We were just disappointed as we were in a nice position and wanted to kick on and do better.”

The Potters’ pile-up of injuries

Even as late in the season as March, Mark Hughes’ side got as high in the table as seventh, still knocking on the door for a European place.

But, ultimately, although managing the notable achievement of finishing above 2014-15 Premier League champions Chelsea, they lost too many players.

England goalkeeper Butland missed the final seven matches, of which the Potters won just one, with the fractured ankle that will keep him out of Euro 2016.

Shawcross missed almost half the season with his recurring back injury, making only 20 starts, a massive irony in the light of the Potters having allowed Robert Huth to join Leicester City in February 2015.

In addition to that, summer signing Glen Johnson missed 13 matches and Bojan Krkic only started 22 games. They then finished the season with the loss of midfielder Stephen Ireland, who broke his leg in training.


BBC Radio Stoke’s Matt Sandoz

“Mark Hughes again proved that he has turned Stoke into a solid top-half team.

“A third consecutive ninth-placed finish is an excellent achievement considering the staggering amount of injuries the club have had to deal with.

“The form in the last couple of months naturally took the focus away from what has been another successful campaign.

“The frustration has been the inconsistency at home. With minor improvements, Stoke could have mounted a serious challenge for a Europa League place.

“Home wins over Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United and narrowly missing out on a League Cup final should not be overlooked.”


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