Stoke are still smarting from the ‘bitter pill’ of their latest failure to secure a win, assistant boss Mark Bowen has admitted.
The Potters have made a dismal start to the new campaign and have not yet won a match inside the regulation 90 minutes.
They finally looked to be up and running on Saturday but surrendered a two-goal lead against Leicester at the Britannia Stadium and had to settle for a 2-2 draw in the Barclays Premier League.
Aside from a penalty shoot-out success at Luton in the second round of the Capital One Cup, Mark Hughes’ side have not won since they thrashed Liverpool 6-1 on the final day of last season.
Hughes’ number two Bowen, speaking at a press conference to preview Tuesday’s League Cup third-round trip to Fulham, said: “When you are 2-0 up in the Premier League you expect to go on and win the game but we were punished for two individual mistakes.
“It is a bitter pill to swallow. For the majority of the game we played some terrific stuff. It is Monday morning and it is a feeling of frustration.
“You would be stupid not to be concerned about it. We have got to win games and get points on the board.
“But we have been in situations like this before. The sooner we get points the better but we are a decent side.”
Even in their only recent victory, Stoke were almost caught out by Luton. Bowen has warned there can be no room for complacency as Stoke travel to Craven Cottage.
Bowen, who worked at Fulham under Hughes in the 2010-11 season, said: “We had an awakener in the last round against Luton.
“Maybe on the night we thought it might be easier than it was and possibly caught a cold. Hopefully that will be in the players’ heads tomorrow.
“Fulham has never been an easy place to go and we have got to really be at it to get a result.
“I would imagine there would be one or two fresh faces coming in but Mark tries to go as strong as possible through every single game he plays. We realise the importance of this.
“The crowd here are desperate for a good cup run and that’s hopefully what we will give them.”
Stoke will assess the condition of forward Bojan Krkic after his goalscoring return to the starting line-up against Leicester. The Spaniard is still working his way back to full fitness after suffering a serious knee injury in January.
Bowen said: “We are all delighted to see Bojan coming back and playing the part he did, and the icing on the cake was to get his goal.
“He will be wanting to kick every ball and play every minute now but he spent a lot of time out. We will just have to assess how he goes.”