Stoke brought to an end a run of four successive defeats in the Premier League with a comfortable 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers at the Britannia Stadium. Both teams had endured miserable starts to the campaign but on this performance Stoke look good enough to avoid a relegation battle whilst Rovers are without a league victory since September and have only won three top flight games since February.
Little wonder the fans at Ewood Park want manager Steve Kean out and defensive performances like this can only add to their frustration.
Stoke went in at the break ahead after a tense and even first 45 minutes. Jermaine Pennants free kick headed home by Rory Delap.
The visitor's started the second half brightly but failed to grab a leveller and were made to pay for their wastefulness in possession.
With 18 minutes remaining it was game over for Blackburn as some poor defending allowed Peter Crouch to score from close range.
Kean's men did have the consolation of scoring the goal of the game late-on as Ruben Rochina fired home from 20 yards, but by now the majority of the Blackburn fans had already left the stadium.
The win takes the Potters back up into mid-table security as they extended their unbeaten run against Rovers to six Premier League games.
Referee: Mark Halsey
Venue: Britannia Stadium
Stoke scorers: Delap 28, Whelan 58, Crouch 72 Blackburn scorers:
TRIBAL ASKS: Can the Indian owners of Blackburn be really serious with their intentions when they award Steve Kean an improved contract?
Yellow cards: Red card: