Football/Soccer

Crystal Palace perfect chance to get Stoke back on track

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is hoping his side bounce back with an FA Cup win against Crystal Palace after their midweek loss to Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semi-final
Press Association

FA Cup Fourth Round Stoke v Crystal Palace (today, 3pm)

STOKE boss Mark Hughes feels today’s FA Cup fourth-round trip to Crystal Palace can provide a significant pick-me-up for his side after their Capital One Cup semi-final disappointment on Tuesday.

The Potters lost the League Cup clash with Liverpool via a penalty shoot-out they had forced by finishing 1-0 up on the night after 120 minutes of the second leg at Anfield, making it 1-1 on aggregate.

This weekend’s contest is the third of four straight away games for Hughes’ men.

And the Welshman, whose team lost a Barclays Premier League match at Leicester last Saturday and face another at Manchester United next Tuesday, said: “It is a tough period we are in, with away games with very little respite.

“But we want to get positive results on the board, and we want to progress in the FA Cup.

“The disappointment of not getting to a Wembley final is still with us, so to progress in another competition that leads to Wembley would be a great tonic.”

Hughes won the FA Cup four times – as well as plenty of other trophies – as a player, but is still searching for his first piece of silverware as a manager.

And although he is set to ring the changes to his side this weekend, he has stressed the importance of the selection still being “strong”.

“It’s a great competition and we want to stay in it,” Hughes said.

“There’s only so many competitions we can win and the FA Cup now is the only one realistically.’’

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Football/Soccer