Stoke City closed the gap on Luton Town with an emphatic 3-0 victory at the Bet 365 Stadium.
Joe Allen scored twice after James McClean had given the lead to move Stoke to within just three points of safety.
It is their opponents Luton who are the team directly above them, with the Hatters conceding 10 goals in their last two away games.
Talking about the victory, Stoke manager Michael O’Neil was understandably delighted with his side’s performance.
“I’m delighted with the result and there’s a lot of positives. The individual performances were very good and as a team we showed a lot,” he said.
“There’s a lot to be happy about and it’s a step in the right direction, nothing more than that so hopefully that builds and breeds confidence in the group. We’ve decided to keep consistency in the team so when we get a good result we need to be consistent with our selection.”
Luton manager Graeme Jones felt that although their side dominated the opening exchanges, individual mistakes cost them.
He said: “For 35 minutes we came to Stoke and reasonably controlled the game. I can’t remember them having an effort on goal. There’s an individual error and all of a sudden we’re 1-0 down. We got picked off for 2-0 and we tried to change a few things at half-time.”
“Another individual error and we’re 3-0 down and the game is finished. It’s happened too often. You can’t play at this level of football and give goals away and we’re doing that too much at the minute.”