MARK HUGHES has confirmed that Jack Butland will make his first competitive start for the Potters against Leicester City in the FA Cup Third round tomorrow.
The England international will come into the side at the expense of the injured Thomas Sorensen, after he suffered an Achilles problem during the draw with Everton on Wednesday.
The Dane is likely to be out of action for a couple of weeks, and with Bosnian stopper Asmir Begovic also sidelined with a broken finger, Academy starlet Daniel Bachmann will be named in the matchday squad for the first time.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Hughes said: “We will go with Jack in goal tomorrow and Daniel Bachmann will be on the bench.
“I have absolutely no qualms about putting him on there because he has been a part of the group for a while now, and has shown himself to be a very good goalkeeper with a lot of potential.
“Jack is a top quality goalkeeper, who has performed at the very highest level, and when he came on at half-time against Everton, in difficult circumstances, he looked very composed.”
He added: “It’s a strange situation though because nobody expected to lose two goalkeepers in as many weeks, but we will take a look at Thomas and see how long he is likely to be out for.
“If he is able to return to training next week, then that is all well and good, but if not, and he looks like being absent for longer, we may have to look at doing something this month.”
The Welshman also confirmed that several other players are likely to miss out against the Foxes through injury, including on loan Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.
“Stephen has some tightness in his hamstring so he won’t be available for the game,” he added.
“There are a few others with bumps and bruises too, so we will have to assess them before kick-off and then make a decision on which team to go with.
“We have a few problems at the back with Andy Wilkinson struggling and Robert still missing, but we do have Ryan Shotton back with us now so that is a boost for us.
“We will go strong because it is a competition that we are determined to do well in. The players know that it is one of the competitions that we can really compete in, so we are desperate to progress.”