Stoke City are preparing for one of the most important games in the club’s history when they face Manchester City in the FA Cup final and they cannot get carried away by the hype.
The club have only won one trophy in their history and that was the league cup in 1972, with the FA Cup final date with City on May 14th their first appearance in the competition’s finale. Those looking to bet on FA Cup action are expecting an exciting final.
Around 28,000 fans are set to follow the players south to Wembley to cheer on Tony Pulis and his lads, and there is no doubt that the players themselves could get carried away and dragged along by the media hype that surrounds the FA Cup final.
Pulis has outlined his plans to keep preparations the same as he would for any normal league or cup game to try to keep his players grounded, but they are likely to have been dreaming of appearing in an FA Cup final since they were little boys.
The boss told BBC Radio Stoke he wants to “keep everybody’s feet on the ground” leading up to the game, but at least they go into it in high confidence after a morale-boosting win over Arsenal at the weekend.
He claims that win showed the spirit around the club and he wants this to come to the fore at Wembley to continue the hard work they have put in in recent weeks, although Manchester City are still seen as FA Cup best bets.
Pulis added: “We’re on a fantastic run and what we’ve got to do now is prepare them properly for what will be a great, great day.”
One worry for Stoke fans is the fitness of Robert Huth after he suffered a knee injury against Arsenal. The German faces a race to be fit for the FA Cup final, while Pulis has said Mathew Etherington will be assessed day-by-day running up to Wembley.