Tony Pulis has warned Stoke's fans it will take until at least the end of next season before the club can start aiming for anything other than Barclays Premier League survival.
With almost a third of the season gone the Potters currently sit 11h in the table. Last year Pulis' side exceeded all expectations to finish 12th in their first season in the Premier League.
"We have to keep our feet on the ground and improve gradually. We need three years in the Premier League. Get that and you will see the club push on but we need that, in terms of the finances and infrastructure of the club." he said.
"We will do our best to finish as high as we can in those years."
Pulis gave Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger the customary post-match handshake following the defeat.
Wenger did not extend the same courtesy to Manchester City boss Mark Hughes during the Gunners' 3-0 defeat at Eastlands.
Pulis believes Wenger's actions can be put down to the stress that comes with the job of managing a Premier League side.
"I think every manager has their own reasons for doing things and emotions run high," said Pulis.
"He shows his feelings and that this means so much to him. You can do it in a different way. It's a very pressured job.
"We were ninth in the league and we got a bit of stick against Portsmouth the other day when we hadn't scored in the first 20 minutes. It just happens."
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