Paul Lambert is convinced Stoke City have the players to steer clear of relegation after guiding his new side to a dominant 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town.
Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf capped off a pair of fine team moves in the second half at bet365 Stadium as Lambert marked his return to the top-flight with a much-needed three points.
Stoke were on a four-game losing run in all competitions coming into the match, but now find themselves above the drop zone with 14 matches to play in the Premier League.
And their new manager, a surprise replacement for the sacked Mark Hughes, is confident they can climb out of danger.
"There's a lot of quality and we shouldn't be in the position we're in," Lambert told BBC Sport.
"Mark Hughes did a fantastic job here - and Tony [Pulis] before him. The lads know for whatever reason they've been underperforming but big compliments to them, they were fantastic.
"You wonder why you come back into it sometimes but that's the way I am. The players were the main factor. Them and the supporters."
PL: ‘I thought we were outstanding. The tempo and atmosphere was fantastic. Two great goals were scored and the clean sheet was also important. I loved every moment of it.’#SCFC pic.twitter.com/ExJIfPG6aD— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 20, 2018
With the Potters now only a point behind them, Huddersfield's worrying form slump – a winless run of six league games - has seen them slip to within touching distance of the bottom three.
But manager David Wagner remained upbeat despite Saturday's lacklustre performance, with Huddersfield now only three points clear of the relegation places.
"It was a deserved defeat - we have to accept it, recover and work towards the next one," the German said.
"We were not strong enough technically to play our football, but I will not fault the effort the players put in.
"The fact that you will have hard times in the Premier League should not be a surprise, even if we don't like it. It is up to us to try and turn this around. We are well in the race."
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