Ethers doubtful for cup final

Etherington pulled up suddenly clutching the back of his leg during
the 3-0 Premier League victory at the Britannia Stadium. He now
faces a race against time to be fit to face Manchester City at
Wembley on May 14. Etherington’s injury follows those suffered by
striker Ricardo Fuller (ruptured Achilles) and defender Danny
Higginbotham (knee), with both men already ruled out of the
showpiece match. Potters boss Tony Pulis said: “It is a massive
disappointment for us. We won’t know the extent of Matty’s injury
until tomorrow when he has a scan. “But we will do our damnedest to
make sure (he is ready) as he has 17-18 days yet. The first week is
very important as we will get it sorted out. “Then he will have 10
days after that to get it as strong as he possibly can to play in
the final. “Having lost Ricardo and Danny it is a massive blow
because we haven’t got the resources of Manchester City. It would
have been tough enough with our best players.” Stoke have almost
certainly secured their top-flight status for a fourth succcesive
season thanks to goals from Kenwyne Jones, Ryan Shawcross and
Jermaine Pennant. However Pulis is not relaxing just yet. “It was a
big game for us,” he said. “The players’ attitude and application
towards the job was fantastic. The first half was as good as we
have played in the Premier League. “We hope our status is
guaranteed now. To get to a fourth season in the Premier League and
reach the FA Cup final is quite a remarkable journey. “This club
and this team is a lot better that the team that came in. We have
gradually improved. It was Wolves’ 13th defeat in 17 away league
games and the prospect of relegation remains very real. Manager
Mick McCarthy said: “That’s as poor as we have played here. They
were better than us. They stopped us playing. “It is difficult time
when you are in the bottom three and playing against a good side
who have just got to Wembley. “Playing for Premier League survival
should be enough to motivate us. We will play better in the
remaining four games.”