Tony Pulis believes Stoke City are playing every bit as well as in previous Premier League seasons – and are about to turn a corner.
A record of only one win from the opening ten Premier League games suggests life is proving much tougher at the Britannia Stadium this time around.
Stoke are 15th in the table and face a crucial home game against 19th-placed Queens Park Rangers on Saturday but their manager believes improved results will come if his side continue to play as they have been, even with their 1-0 defeat at Norwich last Saturday.
"It was the same as quite a few games," he said. "We have played really well and the stats are very encouraging apart from the final third. That's where we have got to be productive.
"We have probably played as well or better this year but we have to get results. Hopefully we will get some luck in front of goal because we're certainly creating chances.
"And we have to remember we've played six games away and only four at home."
Pulis has ruled out any prospect of wholesale changes for the weekend, when Michael Owen will still be sidelined with a hamstring problem, adding: "I don't think there's much wrong."
He did sound a note of caution, though, by saying alarm bells would start to ring if the disappointing sequence of results – they have won just one of their last 16 league games – continues, and he's expecting a tough battle at the weekend despite the even more severe problems facing their visitors.
"You never stop worrying about getting results and there have been bigger clubs than Stoke City who have got relegated," he said.
"We've been really disappointed with the end product and could have scored more. Little things aren't dropping for us. The longer it goes on, the more concerned you will get.
"The players are keen to put it right and the attitude is good. We have had a good week's training.
"I don't think anyone would have said QPR would be down there with the players Mark has brought in. But there's a long way to go and I still will be surprised if they are down at the end of the season."