Mark Hughes was delighted to record successive wins by beating West Brom 2-0, but it was tempered by the fact that his two-goal hero, Mame Biram Diouf, will soon be missing on African Nations Cup duty.
Stoke are up into the top half of the table after registered back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.
The West Brom result also made for a second successive clean sheet for the hosts after 11 games without one, and Hughes was delighted.
"Back-to-back wins is really important,...
Alan Irvine's days as West Brom head coach could be numbered after Mame Biram Diouf's second-half brace condemned the Baggies to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke.
Diouf slotted home in the 51st minute before a lucky deflection off the Senegal forward from Marko Arnautovic's shot 15 minutes later took the ball past Ben Foster again.
West Brom had put in a creditable away performance without being able to convert it into goals, and came agonisingly close to scoring between Diouf's two efforts as Gareth McAuley...