Tuesday 25 October 2016

Whelan: 'Stoke have a taste for Cup glory'

Glenn Whelan in action against Liverpool’s Emre Can last Tuesday. Photo: Getty
Glenn Whelan in action against Liverpool’s Emre Can last Tuesday. Photo: Getty

The end of their dream in the League Cup has only made Stoke City more determined to be successful in the FA Cup this season, according to Glenn Whelan.

Mark Hughes' side missed out on a place in the League Cup final with a defeat, in a penalty shoot-out, to Liverpool in midweek.

Stoke have just had a few days to pick their wounds and prepare for their next cup test, away to Crystal Palace tomorrow.

"We've got a taste for it. We got to the semi-finals of the League Cup and we've been in the final before of the FA Cup which is so massive in England," says Whelan, who captains City in the absence of the injured Ryan Shawcross.

"The manager said something to us in the changing room before the match at Liverpool - that these are the games you want to play in, yearly, when they come around.

"We have to try to make the most of them. We've got a taste for it, so close and yet so far.

"It's going to be a tough game at Palace but there's no real pressure on us so we can go there and have a real good go. Let's go again and try to get into the next round."

Depsite the loss to Liverpool, Whelan remains upbeat after his side's efforts over two legs in that semi-final agianst Liverpool.

"I think we can be proud. To beat Liverpool 1-0 over 120 minutes now gives us the confidence to go back again in the league and think we can get something.

"I'm proud of all the lads because they dug in and hopefully gave the fans something to shout about," added Whelan.

"I think we were good. In extra-time Marco van Ginkel has perhaps had one good half-chance to put it away but you have to give the boys credit, the lads who came in.

"No one gave us a chance but we beat Liverpool on the night, albeit not on penalties, and now we have to pick ourselves up and go again.

"We are disappointed and we will have to pick everyone up, especially Marc Muniesa [whose penalty was saved when the shoot-out went to sudden death].

"His head was down and he was blaming himself but he had the decency to step up."

Whelan's compatriot Marc Wilson is facing an anxious wait to see if he can get back into the City side.

Wilson was expected to start in defence in place of the injured Shawcross against Liverpool but he was left on the bench, Wilson under fire after a poor display as a sub in the previous league game, a 3-0 loss to Leicester City.

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