MARK HUGHES has revealed he wants to add to his FA Cup memory bank with Stoke City.
Hughes won the competition no fewer than four times as a player and heads into tomorrow’s FA Cup with Budweiser third round tie against Leicester City at the Britannia Stadium determined to try and take the Potters all the way to Wembley.
“It has been a great competition for me, a really big part of my career,” he told stokecityfc.com. “I was only just starting my career when I won it for the first time in 1985.
“The competition was viewed in a different light by everyone back then; now people seem to want to dilute the prestige of it. I’ve never done that – I’ve always given it the respect it deserves and that’s what we’ll try and do again.
“The Stoke players know what I’m like in terms of cup competitions. I was the same with the League Cup; it was always our intention to try and go as far as we can and we’ll try and do exactly the same in the FA Cup.
“Stoke fans have got some wonderful memories from their run to the FA Cup Final in 2011 and hopefully we can give them something else to look back on in years to come.”
The Potters’ third round opponents are currently riding high at the head of the Championship and will be keen to test themselves against Premier League opposition as they eye up a place in the top flight themselves.
The Foxes, managed by former Stoke assistant boss Nigel Pearson, have won each of their last four outings and are four points clear of closest Championship rivals Burnley.
Hughes added: “Leicester are a good team - they are flying at the moment and will have good confidence. They possess players who are real threats and they have good pace and energy in their side and they look like they have a real good work ethic.
“A game against a Premier League side is one they can come and have a real go at because there’s no real pressure on them. They will have a big following – by all accounts over 4,000 – and they won’t want to disappoint them and we know we will be up against a fully motivated team who will look to cause an upset if we’re not careful.
“There are a lot of Premier League teams playing each other in the third round, so a number are going to go out at the first hurdle. We want to make sure we’re in the hat for the next stage of the competition and see where it takes us.
“I’ve been involved in sides whose focus hasn’t been right in the early rounds of the FA Cup and they have come unstuck. I didn’t like it, so perhaps that has shaped my view on the importance of the competition.”
Tickets for the visit of Leicester are available by clicking here; calling (01782) 367599 or by visiting the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or Potteries Shopping Centre store.