Stoke City football chief John Rudge feels the Premier League will be even tougher next season.

He believes the promoted trio of Reading, Southampton and West Ham United could make the top flight even more competitive than the just finished campaign.

"The three coming up are what you would call established clubs," Rudge told The Sentinel, "not like when Blackpool came up, for instance, after so many years out of the top flight.

"Both Southampton and Reading have an impressive momentum about them, and you would imagine West Ham will also be trying to improve their squad of players.

"I think the fact that both Bolton and Blackburn have gone down after so many years in the Premier League also shows that no club can take anything for granted."