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Shawcross hoping for Stoke additions

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross is hoping the club loosens the purse-strings as they look to build on this season's impressive ninth-placed finish.

Stoke closed out the season with a 2-1 win over West Ham and might have finished higher in the league if not for a horror April in which Mark Hughes' team failed to pick up a league win.

But Shawcross said his team could avoid a similar late-season blip provided they were able to add depth to the squad for next year.

"You always want to finish strong, and we remembered beating Liverpool 6-1 on the final day of last season," Shawcross was quoted as saying by the Stoke Sentinel.

"We wanted to get that win to go into the summer on a high. Thankfully we've done that.

"It's three successive ninth-placed finishes and we can build on that. We've got a top-class manager and a chairman who backs him.

"Hopefully we'll spend a bit of money over the summer and carry on recruiting some top players and carry on improving."

Manager Hughes was happy to cap the season off with a win, and also hinted that the club would have to look to add to its squad if it was to improve on a third consecutive top-half finish.

"Of all the seasons we have managed ninth, this has been the most satisfactory because it's been more difficult because of the injuries," he said.

"It's no coincidence the teams at the top of the league are consistent in their selection of their back four.

"We've had more changes this year than we've ever had, and to key personnel as well, but we'll get over it and we are on a positive."