GRETAR Steinsson believes a top seven place in the Premier League is not beyond Wanderers, such is the self-belief in the camp.

Ricardo Gardner’s superbly-taken winner against Newcastle on Sunday secured a third win in four games for Gary Megson’s side and means they go to Stoke tomorrow with renewed optimism.

Steinsson said: “We are seven points away from the relegation zone with 11 games left and have to be looking up.

“We are doing well and the challenge is to close in on teams like West Ham and Wigan.”

Steinsson – the Iceland defender who joined Wanderers in a £3.25 million transfer from AZ Alkmaar in January last year, believes the spirit in the Reebok dressing room is a major factor in pushing the Whites into the top half of the table.

“I have never been in a club where there has been such a good atmosphere. It is really great to be part of things,” he said.

“I think the fans can see the players wear their hearts on their sleeves. We are giving it everything we have and you can see that in our results. We are getting there slowly.”

Nevertheless Steinsson is mindful of the task they face at the Britannia Stadium when they take on a Stoke side whose confidence has been boosted by their incredible comeback at Aston Villa on Sunday when they fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

“They are a big team with strong players and this is another massive match for us,” the full back added.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis, meanwhile, praised the character of his players after the Villa Park draw.

Pulis said: “When John Carew made it 2-0, you think the game is over but we had five great chances in the second half. We are delighted. I am very pleased. “Everyone outside of Stoke has written us off. They say we are the team that will get relegated but if you come to our ground, the supporters are absolutely convinced that we can stay up.”

l DANNY Ward said Wanderers paid the price for some sloppy defending as they went down 4-2 against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

Ward fired Peter Farrell’s side into the lead at Anfield with a stunning strike on Friday night, but the visitors shipped three goals before the break to put the Merseysiders in the driving seat.

Chris Stokes reduced the deficit, but Liverpool took advantage of their numerical advantage when Wanderers captain Stokes was off the field getting treatment to add a fourth.

“We started well, but we slacked off,” said Ward.