Stoke City remain hopeful that defender Glen Johnson will be available for the match

Stoke City remain hopeful that defender Glen Johnson will be available for the match against Newcastle United this weekend.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea defender is one of the important attacking players in the team despite playing as a right back. Johnson has not featured for the club since the Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea a few weeks ago. After having moved to Stoke City on a free transfer in the summer, the defender has already contributed two assists in just nine league outings. His return will be a massive boost to the club’s fortunes.

A run of three consecutive victories in the league was recently brought to an end by the 2-0 loss against Watford. This home defeat has once again put the pressure back on the players to deliver at Newcastle. There is a danger of Stoke City being relaxed ahead of this game since Newcastle have not been in great form under Steve McClaren. Mark Hughes, though, says that visiting St James’s Park is always a tough proposition for any team. Hughes remains hopeful that Johnson will recover in time to be available for this game. The defender will undergo a late fitness test in order to decide his availability.

“Glen Johnson has trained today [Thursday] and hopefully, as long as he suffers no affects from that, he will be available on Saturday,” said Hughes. Meanwhile, midfielder Glenn Whelan remains hopeful that the club can improve on the form and finish in the top six.“Hopefully we can get there [top six]. We need the results – to go to Southampton and win shows just how far we’ve come. Stoke have always been tough to beat and we want to keep that. It’s down to confidence and the way we’ve been playing under the manager,” said Whelan.