Pulis happy to see City written off

Having already dispensed with Premier League rivals Manchester City

and Arsenal, the Potters boss insists Carlo Ancelotti’s

table-toppers hold no fears for his side, even though it is Stoke’s

first quarter-final for 38 years. And Pulis believes they are now

accustomed to facing high-pressure situations, having survived for

one full season in the top flight and virtually secured a third

spell. “We’ve had some big games here. We played Reading to stay up

in the Championship, we had Leicester here to get a result to get

into the Premier League,” he said. “We played 38 games to stay in

the Premier League last year and prove everyone wrong, they are all

big games. “We go there as rank underdogs and no-one will give us a

chance. It is going to be a tough game and we’ve played some tough

games over the last couple of weeks. “But we’ll go down there, try

to enjoy it and do the best we can because it is 38 years since

this club was in an FA Cup quarter-final. “We are the underdogs and

have nothing to lose.” Chelsea’s surprise 4-2 home defeat to

Manchester City last weekend means Pulis is expecting a reaction

from Ancelotti’s side. But that will not stop him dreaming of a

place in the last four and a day out at Wembley. “Chelsea will be

smarting. The defeat against City will have given them a kick up

the backside so it will be all systems go for us on Sunday,” he

added. “Chelsea are a fantastic team and they are deservedly top of

the table, but I’ll be thinking about a semi-final at Wembley, the

players will be thinking about it. “We (Stoke and Chelsea) are all

in the same boat. We know what is at the end of it if we can get

the result everyone wants.” Pulis would happily settle for a replay

at the Britannia Stadium, where they are very strong, but he will

not be playing for a draw. “No-one will give us a chance again,

like they didn’t at Eastlands and at our place against Arsenal,” he

added. “We just hope we can put a performance in where we play to

our maximum and get a few decisions going for us and not against

us. “I’d take a replay now, I’d settle for that. It would be

fantastic to bring them back to the Britannia. “I would have

preferred the game at the Britannia but we have to make sure we go

down there and give it the best we can.” Midfielder Glenn Whelan

echoed his manager’s comments. “I do not think many people would

have expected us to get as far as we have, with playing Arsenal and

then knocking Manchester City out as well,” he said. “It is a

one-off game, and we will be the underdogs, so there is no pressure

on us. “We have always played as a team, we are not a group of

individuals. Against the big teams you need 11 men and that is what

we have tried to do throughout the season. “We will go there, put

in a performance and hopefully that can get us the result we need.”