Marc Muniesa says Stoke still have plenty to play for and they intend to finish the season as strongly as possible.
The Potters were looking good for a European place at one point, but just one point from a possible 12 has dashed any hopes they had of making the top six.
Successive 4-0 defeats against Tottenham and Manchester City have also set one or two alarm bells ringing and they need to bounce back against Sunderland this weekend.
“We know we played against top teams and could lose, but not the way we did it,” Muniesa said. “We cannot concede four goals in every game. We had a period like that when we played against Everton, Leicester and United and came back stronger.
“We still have goals to achieve this season like the record points for Stoke City, so we are looking forward to doing that and finishing the season like the last two years.
“We could defend better. We have to be tighter to the opponents. We know we played against quality players and have to be stronger and quicker to win against them.
“We did it in the first half of the season against them, but maybe the last three games we didn’t show our quality.”