Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has set his sights on climbing into the Premier League's top 10 ahead of the trip to Everton.
The Britannia Stadium club picked up their first win in nine league games last Saturday by beating Sunderland 2-0, lifting them to 14th in the English top flight, and Hughes hopes that the result can prove a catalyst for an upturn in form.
They travel to an Everton side who are yet to be beaten at home in the league in 2013 this Saturday, although the Stoke boss sees no reason why they cannot get a result.
"Last weekend's victory was huge," said Hughes. "If we could get another win (on Saturday) then we could move into the top 10, which is where we want to be.
"It will be a tough game for us. Everton have a lot of very good players, they are proving to be difficult to beat this season too.
"They have threats all over the pitch. (Romelu) Lukaku has been fantastic again this season and looks to be on his way to being a top player.
"We do have threats of our own though and I am looking forward to the game. We are performing well away from home and we will look to maintain that at Goodison Park."
Hughes is also preparing his charges for a busy Christmas schedule and knows the importance of racking up points during the festive period.
"It's a busy period in front of us all so we want to accumulate as many points as possible during this time," he continued.
"You tend to guage an idea of where you will be in the league after Christmas, so we want to be up in the top half of the table."
Stephen Ireland is back in contention for Stoke on Saturday having returned from a shin injury, and Hughes confirmed that the Irishman could be involved from the start.
"I have a few thoughts about what I am going to do on Saturday, and Stephen Ireland certainly comes into the equation." he added.
"I will take another look at a few things and make a decision on which team I feel will be able to go out and get the three points."
|Coach: Roberto Martínez|
for J. McCarthy 74'
for R. Lukaku 79'
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