MARK HUGHES expressed his delight at the professionalism displayed by his side as they took a step closer towards their Wembley dream with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory against Tranmere Rovers.
Stephen Ireland's first goal in almost two years and a clinically taken goal from Peter Crouch in stoppage time secured the Potters a last 16 clash with Birmingham City in the Capital One Cup.
The match could have been won by a far greater scoreline however, having seen chances go a begging during an incredibly dominant 90 minutes at Prenton Park, however, the City boss was more than pleased with how his players went about their business.
"We went about our work extremely well tonight, and showed a great amount of professionalism throughout the game," Hughes told Stoke City Player.
"If you get a game like this in the cup and you don't approach it the right way then you will cause yourself a number of problems.
"You could tell the lads were very focussed on the job in hand this evening, and that was very pleasing for me.
"We played some really good stuff at times tonight, and you could tell that the confidence within the team is growing all of the time."
He added: "To make as many changes as we did tonight and still maintain that level of performance was really pleasing; and it bodes incredibly well for the future."