Stoke city manager Mark Hughes has stated that Ryan Shawcross will be a major miss as the club prepare to take on Fulham in their final home match of the season. Stoke will be looking to finish just about Newcastle United in the table and they have all the qualities to do so. They have managed to go on an incredible run of form over the last few weeks, which has seen the gap to Newcastle close to almost negligible levels in the last few weeks. Newcastle have also aided this progress by losing the last five matches without exception.
It is only because of the form that they showed in the first half of the season that they are still in the top half of the table. After the sale of Yohan Cabaye in the January transfer window, the club has totally collapsed in every area of the pitch. Since they take on the title chasing Liverpool in the final game of the season, not much is expected of Newcastle in terms of points from now till the end of the season. Hence, Stoke can move above Newcastle if results go their way. Finishing above Newcastle will help the club earn around £ 2 million more in TV money.
“Having lost Robert Huth early in the season, Ryan has had to show a great level of leadership. Maybe in a strange way losing Rob has helped Ryan to grow as a captain. Losing Rob was a big blow to us all and we’ve really missed him on occasions but Ryan and Marc (Wilson) have played well to fill that hole. We will miss Ryan tomorrow too, because he is a real leader and it would have been nice to have seen him play in every minute of every game. Unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be,” said Hughes.