GLENN WHELAN is hopeful that Stoke City’s New Year’s Day defeat to Manchester City turns out to be just a small blip . . . and says the team’s attention is now firmly fixed on the start of their FA Cup campaign this weekend.
The Potters take on Championship high-flyers Crystal Palace on Saturday, hoping to bounce back after goals from Pablo Zabaleta, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero condemned them to their first League defeat in eleven matches.
Speaking directly after the 3-0 loss to the Premier League Champions, Whelan said the dressing room was down after seeing their impressive sequence come to an end, but is adamant they won’t dwell on the matter.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed at the moment, but we’ll have to lift ourselves up when we’re back in training because we’ve got a tough game in the FA Cup on Saturday,” said the Republic of Ireland international.
“It’s the first game we’ve lost in ten, and it was against the Champions. We don’t want one result to ruin what we’ve built up, so we’ll be okay next time around.
“We’re going to try and put that to the back of our minds, kick on and go on a good run.”
Whelan believes City didn’t play as well as they have done in recent weeks in the defeat at the Etihad Stadium, especially in terms of supporting Kenwyne Jones and creating chances.
“It’s hard to go to Man City, but we didn’t do ourselves any favours,” he added.
“We didn’t play like we have done in the last ten games. I’m not sure if it was fatigue or something, but we’re all disappointed with the way we played.
“We left Kenwyne isolated and we couldn’t really get around him, which we’ve done really well of late. Hopefully it’s just one bad game out of the way, and we’ll just kick-on on now from the next game.”
The 28-year-old recognises the challenge of facing Ian Holloway’s Palace, who currently sit just two points off the automatic promotion places in the Championship after a 3-1 victory over Wolves on Tuesday.
“It will be a tricky one. They’re flying in the Championship and doing really well, and they’ve got some young, exciting, talented players that we need to be wary of.”