Coates dismisses fixture storm

Stoke face the men from Eastlands three days after they meet in the

FA Cup final on May 14 at Wembley. There could be a combination of

factors that would mean a defeat for Tony Pulis’ side at Eastlands

would boost their chances of qualifying for next season’s Europa

League. If Stoke were to lose the final, they could still qualify

for next season’s Europa League if City were to finish in the top

four in the league. That would see City go into the Champions

League and mean they would not need the FA Cup’s Europa League

place, which would go to the Potters. Tottenham, who are scrapping

with Manchester City for a top-four place, want the date changed

but Coates told the Stoke Sentinel: “The whole issue is a storm in

a teacup. “Anybody who knows football and knows Stoke City will

know we would never go into a game not trying to win – not least

because there is a lot of money riding on where a club finishes in

the Premier League.”