Date: 21st March 2018 at 1:19pm
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Stoke City skipper Ryan Shawcross and midfielder Joe Allen have reflected on the weekend’s loss to Everton and insisted the fight goes on.

A two one defeat on home soil ahead of the March international break sees Stoke now sit three points shy of safety but Southampton and West Ham do hold a game in hand over us.

When football returns we go into ties against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur before then facing West Ham but Shawcross insisted we shouldn’t go into those matches with any apprehension.

Speaking to the Official Website he explained.

‘It is hard where we are at the moment, but our fight for survival is by no means over. We were one win away again from getting out of it on Saturday so it`s very disappointing again for us, but we need to look on the bright side of things and hopefully over the coming few weeks we can pick up some victories. We know we need to secure a win over a big team and upset them, but we have done it in the past and we can do it again.’

Shawcross went on to say it was about the players stepping up to be ‘heroes’ now and hopefully snatching a point or more against inconsistent Arsenal to lift everyone.

As for Allen, he repeated the message that we had enough quality in the group to change our season around and he insisted the players were confident and had the desire to do just that – pointing to the Everton performance as proof of that even though the result didn’t go our way.

‘There is even more onus on us to get the results we require in the next games now. We made changes and threw the kitchen sink at it on Saturday but unfortunately it`s another game we`ve got nothing from. If we had played with eleven men for ninety minutes then we could be talking about winning the game, but it`s all ifs and buts, it didn`t work out that way.’

Whilst there were few positives, as he acknowledged, he felt the spirit on show despite being down to ten men following Charlie Adam’s red card was something we could lean on.

‘Being a man down I don`t think anybody gave up, everybody was willing to push themselves to the limit. That mentality is certainly something we will all need from now until the end of the season because we will need to really battle to get across the line. The belief is there and the confidence is there as well that we can still go and get the results we need.’

With only seven matches remaining in the campaign the problem is the time for talking is long over and few see much of a return from the next two games, so West Ham isn’t just a six pointer, it’s worth even more than that and could in fact decide who goes down.

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