Stoke City will be looking to build upon their recent victory over Wycombe Wanderers this weekend when they head to the Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough in the Championship.
Currently 10th in the second-tier standings, the Potters will leapfrog Neil Warnock's side by securing all three points on their travels.
Whilst it would take a monumental effort for Stoke to gatecrash the play-off picture in the coming weeks, the amount of progress that they have made this season under the guidance of manager Michael O'Neill cannot be understated.
Having guided the Potters to safety during the previous campaign, the 51-year-old is on course to lead his side to a top-half finish providing that they can end the year on a positive note.
However, having been linked with a move to Celtic earlier this month, O'Neill is apparently frustrated with the financial situation at Stoke.
The Potters still have the likes of Tom Ince, Kevin Wimmer, Badou Ndiaye and Benik Afobe on their books who are all out on loan at various clubs.
Speaking on the latest episode of Touchline Talk about O'Neill, journalist Dean Jones has admitted that he might be interested in joining Celtic due to a lack of investment at Stoke.
When quizzed about the Stoke boss' current situation, Jones said from the 12;06 mark: "O'Neill is frustrated by the fact that the club have a bunch of reserve players that are hugely paid.
"Stoke have all these guys on the fringes such as Tom Ince that they really need to move on from and they haven't done it.
"So O'Neill has had one hand behind his back I think but he has been doing a decent job.
"If Celtic are interested there, he might be interested [in joining them]."
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
When you consider that Stoke will have an influx of returnees when the current campaign ends in May, it is imperative that they do all they can to move these players on in the summer transfer window.
By securing fees for the likes of Tom Ince, whose deal at the Bet365 Stadium runs until 2022, and Badou Ndiaye who has the same contract expiry date as his fellow midfielder, the Potters could re-invest in their squad.
By backing O'Neill to draft in quality players, Stoke may be rewarded with a sustained push for a top-six finish in the Championship next season.
However, if they cannot provide the former Northern Ireland boss with the money that he needs to make alterations to his side, he may be tempted to look elsewhere for a new managerial position.News Now - Sport News