The Stoke City chairman, Peter Coates, has promised Mark Hughes there will be money to spend when the transfer window reopens next month, admitting that a striker will be the priority for a club that continues to struggle to score goals and is languishing just above the relegation zone. Beaten 4-0 at Everton on Saturday, Stoke have won only one of their last 10 league matches and sit two places above the drop zone before Wednesday's crucial home game against Cardiff City, who are behind them on goal difference. Stoke have managed only 12 goals in 13 league matches this season, highlighting the need for a proven goalscorer to add some penetration to a team that was never prolific during Tony Pulis's time in charge at the Britannia Stadium. Hughes was keen to strengthen Stoke's options in that department in the summer but was frustrated in his attempts to sign Mame Biram Diouf from Hannover and the window closed without a recognised centre-forward arriving. Coates has acknowledged that it is an area that needs addressing next month to give Stoke every chance of climbing the table. "There will be money available for Mark in January and it's pretty clear that we are looking for a striker," Coates said. "That's the one position where we need to strengthen but they're not cheap and we haven't been able to find one for one reason or another. We tried to do deals before the last transfer window closed but they didn't come off and we couldn't attract the kind of striker we wanted. "We're looking and it depends on the deal making sense to us. We will look all over Europe and I believe our recruitment is getting better all the time. There is nobody singled out at this moment but it will be Mark's choice and there is money for him."