Shawcross chasing City revenge

BY foxsports • May 16, 2011

Shawcross was forced to climb the 107 steps to Wembley's Royal Box to collect a runners-up medal on Saturday before watching opposite number Carlos Tevez hoist aloft the famous old trophy. And the defender will not need to wait long for payback, with the sides set to square off in their penultimate Premier League game of the season. "We've got two massive games and hopefully we can avenge the performance against City on Tuesday," Shawcross said. "It's going to be difficult but hopefully we can." Saturday's defeat robbed Shawcross of the honour of being the first Stoke captain to lift the FA Cup, although he still made history by being the first man to lead them out in the final. And, at 23, there is plenty of time for him to go one step further and end the Potters' 148-year quest for the trophy. He added: "I want to be in more cup finals and win trophies. "This is a massive incentive. But I definitely want to play in more big occasions. "We will learn from this and grow as a team. We have had a great season but our performance was disappointing. We just never turned up. "We want to finish our season with six points from the two games. "There will always be regrets and 'if onlys' but there's always next season to put things right." There is also the final two games of the current campaign against City and Wigan, with Stoke just a point short of last year's total of 47. In the tightest of mid-table battles, they are on course for a top-half finish in the Premier League for the first time and could even snatch seventh if they win both remaining matches and other results go their way. Regardless of the outcome, the Potters have Europa League football to look forward to next season and midfielder Glenn Whelan insisted Saturday's defeat would not take away from the club's amazing achievements this term. "It's a great season," he said. "Getting to a final. No-one fancied us to win before the game and we've done okay. "Obviously, getting to Europe is a big occasion for the club and hopefully we can push on now. "Big disappointment, but put that to the back of our minds." Whelan was also able reflect on a personal triumph this season, having forced his way back into the side to play a key role for Tony Pulis' men. "I was out early on in the season but got back in and I think my form's been pretty decent since," he said. "So hopefully play the next two games and kick on, and see where it takes us." By sheer co-incidence, tomorrow's match at the City of Manchester Stadium was originally scheduled for FA Cup final day. It was controversially put back three days rather than brought forward, despite there being a very real prospect at the time of a Stoke win costing them a place in Europe. That was because City had not secured Champions League qualification, meaning the Potters would not necessarily be in the Europa League if they lost the cup final. With City having beaten Tottenham last Tuesday to make sure of a top-four spot, that is now all academic.

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