Wanderers' 2-1 loss means they remain six points adrift of safety at the foot of the Barclays Premier League table with six games left to play.

The picture looks bleak, but Connor, who has accrued only one point from a possible 21 since he replaced Mick McCarthy in February, was encouraged by today's performance at the Britannia Stadium.

For the third consecutive match, Wolves took the lead - Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic allowing Michael Kightly's lofted 26th-minute pass to drift straight in - only to end up with nothing.

The Potters equalised within 11 minutes thanks to Robert Huth's drive and snatched all three points when Peter Crouch headed in Jermaine Pennant's free-kick just after the hour mark.

Connor felt the free-kick should never have been awarded and praised his team for their efforts.

"I am disappointed by the result, but I think we played really well today and that we deserved something from the game," Connor said.

"I know there wasn't a foul committed by Stephen Ward for Stoke's winning goal.

"If you watched the game, you could see that we fought every inch.

"We were up for it, we played the game and we got beaten due to a dubious free-kick which led to Peter Crouch scoring a good header.

"The lads were committed, passionate and played good football."

Wolves are back at home against Arsenal on Wednesday night and looking ahead to the contest, Connor said: "We just have to keep doing it.

"We come back to work on Monday to get ready for Arsenal and we will give the same commitment and energy, and play the same good football to try to beat Arsenal."

Former Wolves midfielder Paul Ince was yesterday quoted as saying he would be ready to return to the club to take over as boss for the remainder of the season if the offer was made to him.

Asked about those comments today, Connor said he had not read them and would be "surprised" if any more changes in management happened at Wolves before the end of the campaign.

"I've not read Paul's comments, but if he has made comments, then that is his prerogative," Connor said.

"Mine is to manage Wolves until May 13 - that was my brief when I took over.

"As far as I know (that has not changed). It is until May 13 - the club can then sit down and discuss where they go from there.

"They asked me to look after it until May 13 and that is what I am trying to do.

"Then, come what may - whatever division we find ourselves in - I'm sure the club will sit down, take stock and decide what to do."

Stoke, meanwhile, are up to 11th having gone beyond the 40-point mark, the tally generally regarded as a guarantee of safety which their boss Tony Pulis had put great emphasis on all season.

"We are just very pleased to get over that 40-point mark," Pulis said.

"We are on 41 points now and we are safe. I have to say, it has been a remarkable season.

"To get to the last 32 in the Europa League, to get to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and to get to 41 points with six games still to go...the players, supporters and everyone connected with the football club should be really proud of what this season has brought us."