MARK BOWEN insists Stoke City can end bring their winless streak in the Premier League to an end when reigning Champions Manchester United visit the Britannia Stadium tomorrow.
The Potters have gone six games without a league victory and suffered their latest setback on Wednesday as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland.
Bowen hosted the pre-match press conference at the Britannia Stadium instead of manager Mark Hughes and although he recognises the size of the task facing the Potters tomorrow, he believes they can still approach the game with confidence.
He told www.stokecityfc.com: “Whenever you play Manchester United it’s difficult but with Mata, van Persie and Rooney coming back into the fold we’ve had a few sleepless nights this week.
“But that’s why we’re in the game; Premier League games at home to Manchester United get the juices flowing for everybody. It’s a game that we’re not looking at with any fear or trepidation – we’ll just look to get out there and take the game to them.
“We feel, and quite rightly so, that we can give anyone a game on our own patch and I’m sure we will do tomorrow against United.
“We’ve played them twice and done well against them for 70 minutes but that doesn’t really matter when you get beat.
“We’ll take positives from the game though and think that, both home and away, we caused problems for them and can do so again.
“I’ll settle for getting hammered, Asmir Begovic winning the Man of the Match and us winning 1-0, winning at the death. It doesn’t matter how good or bad we play, getting something out of the game tomorrow is the key.”
Hughes will be forced to make one change to his starting line-up with Steven Nzonzi ruled out through suspension following his controversial sending-off against Sunderland on Wednesday.
Bowen added: “Steven will be sorely missed. He’s one of the flagship players in our team and he’s been playing very well just lately.
“We felt on Wednesday night that it wasn’t a great decision to send him off but you just have to take things like that on the chin.
“It gives someone else an opportunity to make an impact, whether it be Stephen Ireland or Wilson Palacios. It gives the manager the chance to look at other options and different ways of maybe setting our stall out against Manchester United.”
The Potters will again be without Robert Huth, who is according to Bowen two or three weeks away from returning to action after a knee operation, but Andy Wilkinson and Matthew Etherington have this week returned to training after injury lay-offs.
Peter Odemwingie is poised to make his home debut following his switch from Cardiff City.
Tickets for the game against Manchester United are available by clicking here; calling (01782) 367599 or by visiting the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or Potteries Shopping Centre store.