MARK HUGHES has no doubts his Stoke City players will adopt the right mentality when they meet Tranmere Rovers in the third round of the Capital One Cup at Prenton Park this evening.
The Potters are hot favourites to overcome the League One outfit and secure a place in the last 16 of the competition.
Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere have claimed just five points from their opening eight league games and on Saturday were beaten 2-0 by Notts County, who went into that game bottom of the table.
Despite that, Hughes is wary of the threat they will pose as they look to claim a top-flight scalp and is convinced his players will be mindful of that as well.
He told stokecityfc.com: “It’s important that we go there with the right mentality, respect the opposition and understand that if we don’t do things correctly it will be a difficult night for us.
“I don’t anticipate that. We’ve been really encouraged by what we’ve produced of late, even though at the weekend we lost the game.
“We’re not going to take liberties with the opposition. They are a good strong side and although their form of late has been a little bit indifferent, they will see a game against us as a chance to lift themselves.
“We’ve got to be mindful of that but the way we’re playing at the moment and the attitude of the players and the way they are approaching things, if we start brightly and in the right manner and don’t give them any encouragement we can take the game away from them.”
Hughes has already confirmed that Erik Pieters will miss the game due a calf injury he sustained in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal but hopes the Dutch international will be available for Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Norwich at the Britannia Stadium.
The manager has also revealed that Thomas Sorensen will make his second appearance of the season in place of the rested Asmir Begovic and has hinted that he may take the opportunity to give a run-out to some of those players who are in need of game time.
“It’s a match that gives me the opportunity to look at different combinations of players,” he added.
“I don’t think the shape of the team – or what we’re trying to achieve- will be any different but it gives us a chance to look at a number of things I’ve seen on the training ground but haven’t had chance to implement them in a match situation.”
Tickets for Sunday’s Premier League game against Norwich at the Britannia Stadium are still available. Buy from scfcdirect.com, in person direct from the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 01782 367599.