March 14, 2018 / 4:56 AM / 8 days ago

Soccer: Improved Stoke displays can boost survival bid, says Zouma

(Reuters) - Stoke City defender Kurt Zouma believes the club’s improved displays in recent Premier League matches can give them the belief they need to survive a tight relegation battle.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Manchester City - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - March 12, 2018 Stoke City's Kurt Zouma looks dejected Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

The Potters are second from bottom on 27 points, one adrift of safety, and in danger of dropping down to the Championship for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign unless they can pick up some vital wins in the final eight games.

Monday’s 2-0 defeat by champions-elect Manchester City was Stoke’s second loss in seven league matches and on-loan Chelsea player Zouma said that the club have to build on those previous performances to finish the season strongly.

“We haven’t won too many games of late but we’re playing a lot better than before, are tighter at the back and conceding a lot less goals,” Frenchman Zouma told the club’s website (

“We are still only one point away from moving out of the relegation zone and we know we have some very big games still to come,” he added.

Stoke host ninth-placed Everton in the league on Saturday. They also take on top-six sides Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool later in the season.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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