The 31-year-old winger insists doing so would be considered a genuine badge of honour by his team-mates.
"It matters to us," he told The Sentinel. "We have always gone down to the last couple of games in 10th spot or just outside the top 10, but never finished there.
"I remember the last game a couple of seasons ago against Wigan when a win, which we should have got, would have meant a top-half finish."
Stoke lost 1-0 that day, but Etherington added: "That's how close we have been without doing it yet. I think we deserve it because of our consistency over the years.
"We are now on 33 points with 12 games left, so I'd like to think we could get to the 45 to 50-point mark. That should get us really close to the top 10."