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Coates: Stoke will survive

Peter Coates remains confident Tony Pulis will steer Stoke City to a sixth successive season in the Premier League - despite increasing speculation over his manager's future at the Britannia Stadium.

• Whittaker: Talking points heading into run-in

Pulis' position is under the microscope and it still uncertain whether he will remain with the club beyond the end of the current campaign.

Whatever the outcome in the summer, chairman Coates believes Stoke will retain their Premier League status and Pulis will collect the 38 points he feels will be sufficient to avoid relegation, after a miserable run of just one win in 13 games.

"I suspect 38 points will do it, but certainly a couple of wins and you are OK because 40 points will absolutely do it," Coates told the Stoke Sentinel.

"It's up to us now to get enough points to stay in the Premier League. We've got as good a chance as anybody else and it's up to us to see it through because no one does you any favours.

"When I look at the fixtures I believe there are points out there for us, but it's up to us to get going on a run.We know our big problem, we are not scoring enough goals."

Results at the weekend have led to a belief that Reading and QPR are too far adrift to save themselves, leaving around five clubs in a straight fight to avoid the final relegation spot, but Coates feels Rangers could still mount a challenge.

Stoke visit Loftus Road next week in what could be a season-defining moment for both clubs and Coates said: "It is tremendously difficult for them now, but they still have a fighting chance and they are certainly not down.

"I thought they were extremely unlucky with 10 men against Wigan on Sunday. I can only assume Harry Redknapp must have run over a cat to get luck like that."

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