Stoke City News & Transfers LIVE – Impressive win for U18 youngsters, free entry to crucial U23 game

How important is a good finish for the club?

Holden: Our goal is to finish as high as possible. It won’t be as high as any of us had hoped, obviously, but in the position we find ourselves in, we still have a three-game challenge ahead of us.

Beyond that, in terms of what it means for recruitment, I think players will look at this football club and see it as a really attractive club in terms of size, history, fan base, facilities at the training ground and stadium. But they need to see a management team and a group of players who are aiming for success and who are ambitious.

There are plenty of big clubs in this division next season who can all say they have been in the Premier League. Some might say they deserve to be, but you deserve to be where you are. We are in the championship at the moment and we have to fix it.

We have plans in place. Once these games are completed, we will continue to reflect on areas for improvement. The manager and the technical staff are more ambitious than ever to move this club forward. We need to make sure we have a group of players at the start of next season who are equally ambitious and ready to take this club forward.

There’s a lot of pressure to get a promotion and it’s not easy to do. Everything has to fall into place for that to happen and we know what we need to do to make that happen. It’s easier said than done, but as frustrated as we are this season, we’re extremely excited about what we can do next season.

Christy J. Olson