Charlie Adam is hopeful of a good result against his former club Liverpool in Stoke City's League Cup semi-final as he sets his sights on picking up some silverware in 2016.
Combative midfielder Adam said Stoke had already come a long way since he joined in 2012, with the team seven points outside the Premier League's top four and potentially 180 minutes away from a League Cup final this term.
Tony Pulis was manager when Adam arrived, but he said Mark Hughes' appointment had seen Stoke transform from one just happy with Premier League survival to one with greater ambition ahead of Tuesday's first leg at home to Liverpool.
"We have made progress - we've finished in the top 10 for the past two years now [9th both times]. People will say: 'It's only top 10.'," Adam said.
"But that's a big achievement from where the club were - when just getting to 40 points was the base target. Now we have our own targets about where we want to finish and expectations are a lot higher. That comes from winning games.
"The fans' expectations push us on too because top 10 is the norm now. But if we try to go to the next level then winning a trophy would probably be the next step.
"The Europa League is an important next step for us too. We are improving as a club and we spent a bit of money in the summer. Hopefully that can continue.
"Now we have a two-legged semi-final and you never know – a trip to Wembley would be great."
Adam was a part of the Liverpool squad that won the League cup in 2012 and was one of two players - alongside then captain Steven Gerrard - to miss a penalty in the final shoot-out against Cardiff City.
"When Stevie Gerrard steps up and misses a penalty you think it's possible anybody can miss," Adam added.
"I was up next and I missed too.
"Maybe the occasion got to me but these things happen and you move on. I’d never shirk away from taking the next one and fortunately I’ve scored a few since.
"You remember who won the trophy – we won it and it was great to be part of that side. It was a great day out and nice to win a trophy with an amazing club like Liverpool."
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