And Hughes sees bettering those numbers as “attainable and realistic” this term if his side keep playing the way they are. “There are a number of things we can achieve if we have a good finish to the season,” Hughes said. “There is the highest position Stoke have ever finished in the Premier League, and that is still within our grasp. “There is the biggest points total as well, and we could still do that. “So there are a number of things we can look ahead to and think ‘yes, that is attainable and realistic’ – so why not have a real push between now and the end of the season and see how many things we can achieve in this campaign? “I think it is there for us if we recognise that and push on now. “I sense the players themselves recognise where we are in our season and it is up to us now to kick on and finish strongly, because if we do then we will achieve a lot. “There are a lot of things we can hit for the first time as Stoke City in the Premier League, and we will use that to motivate us.” Following his appointment as manager last summer, Hughes has been trying to get Stoke playing a more flowing brand of football than in previous seasons and Saturday’s 3-1 victory over West Ham, with the manner in which it was achieved, indicated things are now really starting to come together on that front. “In terms of what we are producing at the moment, we are delighted,” Hughes said. “What is particularly pleasing from everybody’s point of view is that we are both performing well and getting rewards for that. “I think there have been periods during the season where we have performed okay but haven’t got the points on the board, but at the moment we are able to go into games with confidence, play well and get points. “All in all, we are in decent shape. I always said I felt the team would be stronger in the second half of the season, and that seems to be bearing up.” Winger Oussama Assaidi could make his return to action on Sunday, when Stoke will be looking for only their second Premier League win of the season. Assaidi, on loan with the Potters from Liverpool, has been working his way back to fitness after a knee injury and will be checked ahead of the trip to Villa Park along with defender Erik Pieters, who limped off in the West Ham match having taken a knock to the leg. Robert Huth (knee) is out for the rest of the season and both Charlie Adam and Jon Walters remain suspended, while Stephen Ireland will also have to miss the game under the terms of the contract he signed when his loan with Stoke from Villa was turned into a permanent deal in January. Press Association The Potters are in decent form with eight matches of their campaign to go having lost only once in their last seven, and they are currently 11th in the table, level on 34 points with 10th-placed Aston Villa, who have nine games left and are their hosts on Sunday. Since their promotion to the division in 2008, Stoke’s highest finish has been 11th place in 2009/10, which is when they also achieved their biggest overall points haul of 47. Stoke boss Mark Hughes is feeling optimistic about the chances of 2013/14 ending up as a season of significant Barclays Premier League personal bests for the club.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe Michigan State Police Alpena Post will be hosting their upcoming MSP Citizens Academy. The 8-week program gives citizens the opportunity to see a day in the life of their law enforcement team, and learn the mission and operations of MSP.Taking the free opportunity to learn about MSP Alpena Post, former citizen academy attendee and graduate, Sharon Cole said the MSP team covered a range of topics, including some subjects you never heard of when it comes to wearing a uniform in blue.“We covered a lot of different things from their training, to what color of badges mean. We even looked inside of patrol cars, inside of the building and just experienced a lot of different things. We learned legal terms, we watched videos, there was never a dull moment,” Cole said.After hearing from some of the MSP officers, judges, and the H.U.N.T. Team, Cole said the academy helped her have a deeper appreciation for law enforcement.She added that the academy gave her the knowledge that she was very curious about.“I was curious, through my work I deal with police officers, law enforcement on a daily basis, and I wanted to have a better understanding of what they do. I got out of it exactly what I wanted to get out of it. I wanted to learn what they do, what goes on and it was just a fantastic experience. I wish they would do a follow up class because I would definitely be there for that too,” Cole said.Cole said the academy also gives tips on how to protect yourself, your family, and your home. She adds that everyone in the community should sign up and take the 8-week academy.If you’re interested in attending the Citizens academy the program will start August 1st and end September 19th. The academy will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 pm until 8 pm.A small graduation ceremony will be held on the last night. To sign up contact Trooper Ashley Simpson at 989–354–4101 to fill out an application. The deadline is this Thursday, July 13th.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Citizens Academy, Michigan State Police Alpena Post, msp, MSP Alpena PostContinue ReadingPrevious 7th Annual Cardboard Boat RegattaNext Local Girl Scouts Hold Fundraisers to Save Camp Woodland in Alpena