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Thursday 8 December 2016

Potters' Irish duo keen to get FA Cup game time

Jonathan Walters (left) Photo:Reuters
Jonathan Walters (left) Photo:Reuters

Irish duo Jonathan Walters and Marc Wilson hope that Stoke City boss Mark Hughes does what he has promised and shakes up the team for tomorrow's FA Cup meeting with Doncaster Rovers.

While Glenn Whelan is a permanent fixture in the Stoke side, Wilson has struggled to get game since ever since he suffered an ankle injury in pre-season, while Walters - Ireland's hero in the Euro 2016 campaign - has been reduced to a substitute's role lately.

Wilson, hoping to challenge Robbie Brady and Stephen Ward for the left back role with Ireland, has worryingly made just three Premier League appearances this season and has not even kicked a ball for the first team in six weeks.

Walters has not started a league game since the November defeat to Sunderland and both men, clearly in need of games, hope to get the nod away to a Doncaster side which has former Drogheda United and Bohemians man Paul Keegan in midfield.

"We will make changes - we need to make changes," Hughes said. "We have got another midweek game next week against Norwich, so it is important that guys who have taken most of the workload get a break and prepare for that. But I have got guys who are itching to be a part of what we are trying to do so they will have an opportunity at the weekend."

Dubliner Keegan is eager to measure himself up against former Ireland U21 midfield partner Whelan. "If we are both playing tomorrow it should be a good battle, but obviously I want to knock Glenn out of the Cup," says Keegan, who has been at Doncaster since 2010.

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