How Steven Schumacher plans to 'not celebrate' Stoke City survival

Steven Schumacher guided Stoke to a 1-0 win at Southampton that secured their place in the Championship.
Steven Schumacher guided Stoke to a 1-0 win at Southampton that secured their place in the Championship. -Credit:Robin Jones/Getty Images

Steven Schumacher won’t celebrate Stoke City surviving in the Championship - but he will allow himself to enjoy a glass of wine when he turns 40 this week.

Stoke have secured their status with a superb 1-0 win at Southampton, putting them six points clear of the relegation zone going into the final match next weekend.

It has not been the season that Stoke had dreamed about but the results they have pulled out in the circumstances they found themselves in, particularly since the last international break in March, have been hard earned.

POST-MATCH VERDICTS: Reaction as Stoke City beat Southampton

It was no surprise that players dropped to their knees at full-time and a sell-out away end cheered them with a fierce passion for getting the job done.

Stoke might have survived without these particular points but Schumacher was pleased, relieved and proud to take care of their own fate.

“I don't want to be celebrating staying up because we shouldn't be in this situation with the owners that we’ve got and the size of the club and everything else,” he said. “So I won’t be celebrating but I’ll definitely enjoy my glass of wine on my birthday on Tuesday.”

He added: “I’ve been saying and I’ve been impressing on the lads that I felt we still needed results. I didn’t think it would go the way that some people were suggesting and that it was all over and we were done and all that.

“But the amount of calls I’ve had in the week to say, ‘Well done, you’re over the line.’ I’ve been saying, ‘No, we’re definitely going to need to get something in the next two games.’

“So to come here today and put in the performance that warranted the result, I thought the lads were excellent. It was a brilliant win against a real top team. I’m delighted with it.”

This result came courtesy of a well-taken first-half goal from Tyrese Campbell, Stoke’s longest serving first team player, albeit that he is out of contract this summer. He has been tasked with leading the line in the run-in and helped secure Schumacher his first back-to-back wins as manager.

Schumacher said: “I was brought into the club because we were in a really difficult situation. We’ve not been in a good position in the league obviously but you don’t get these opportunities if it is. So that's why I was brought in and the objective was at the time was to stay in the league.

“So yeah, it's been hard. We had good performances early on, decent performances and then we picked up poor results in the middle and then towards the end of this second half of the season, I think we've been really good.

“We've shown play-off form, so yeah, that gives us confidence that we can push next year.”

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