MARK HUGHES admits that he will be forced to take a closer inspection of several of his players in the build-up to Saturday's FA Cup Third Round clash against Championship table toppers Leicester City.
The Potters boss has injury concerns hanging over several of his players following yesterday's entertaining 1-1 Premier League draw with Champions League chasing Everton.
The Welshman is almost certain to be without stopper Thomas Sorensen, who joined fellow stopper Asmir Begovic on the sidelines after suffering an Achilles injury during Wednesday afternoon's match, whilst a number of others will also have to be assessed before the game.
"Unfortunately Thomas felt his Achilles just prior to the end of the half, and it started to go stiffer and stiffer, so we took the decision to take him off rather than risk anything more serious," he told Stoke City Player.
"There are a few other players who will need to be looked at over the next 24 hours or so, because there are a few tired legs out there, and one or two who are carrying a few bumps and bruises.
"We may need to protect a few of them because we don't want to run the risk of overusing them and burning them out, but at the same time we want to win the game and move on to the next round of the competition.
"We will have to use the squad we have, because it has been a very difficult period for us, probably more so than most other clubs in the Premier League to be honest with you, given the travelling that we have had to do."