Date: 16th January 2009 at 1:50pm
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With kick off against Blackburn just over a day away, Joe Kinnear has briefed the press with the small matter of three FA charges looming over him. Set to take an extended spell in the stands shortly, JFK said:

“Whatever they throw at us, we have to be prepared for. It will be the same sort of policy we had when we went to Chelsea. They are a fresh side and they have not played as many games as we have, but I still believe we are capable of taking something out of the game.

Whatever happens, our next four games are all against teams below us, and it is a good chance to put distance between us and them and take things from there. Sam plays to his strengths, like I did when I was at Wimbledon. I think every manager does.

Stoke City this season are playing to their strengths, but you have to be ready for it.

When I took the job it was the day after the Blackburn game. That put them six points clear, but since then we have turned it around and we are a few points ahead of them. We have progressed, whereas they have not. Since then, I think we have done exceptionally well to reach the position we are in now.”