Tony Pulis' men currently sit 10th in the standings on 33 points, three points behind ninth-placed Liverpool, with 12 games left to play.
Etherington believes 45-50 points is a realistic target for Stoke this season as they aim to end the campaign in the top half of the table.
He told the Daily Star: "It matters to us. We have always gone down to the last couple of games in 10th spot or just outside the top 10, but never finished there.
"I remember the last game a couple of seasons ago against Wigan when a win, which we should have got, would have meant a top-half finish.
"We are now on 33 points with 12 games left, so I'd like to think we could get to the 45 to 50-point mark. That should get us really close to the top 10."