The club's form before Christmas suggested a potential charge for Europa League football, but they have won only one match since sweeping Liverpool aside with a 3-1 victory at the Britannia Stadium on December 26.

Most recently Stoke suffered a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham and Crouch, who has scored just five Premier League goals this season, fully understands why fans may be disappointed.

Crouch told The Sentinel: "I know the fans are frustrated, but no-one is more frustrated than the players going into work on a Monday.

"It's not a nice place to be when you've just lost, especially at home. We have to address that and give everything in our remaining games.

"It's important we go to Newcastle and show we have got some character."

Stoke face Newcastle at St James' Park next, and Crouch insists he bears no ill-feeling towards Fabricio Coloccini after a collision with the Argentine saw the striker lose three teeth the last time they met.

He added: "As you can see from when I clobbered him in the face, that wasn't meant either. I felt so guilty after and went to apologise because I know what it feels like. And I certainly don't attach any blame to Coloccini.

"My nose was a bit wonky at Liverpool and I had it put right after a knock - and my teeth weren't ideal until I had them knocked out and repaired - so I'm slowly improving as I get older.

"Playing with the mouth guard wasn't ideal, but I didn't wear it at the weekend and it was fine."