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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Hughes to field strong team

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has vowed to field a "strong team" in Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie against Walsall.

Last Updated: 28/08/13 at 19:07 Post Comment

Mark Hughes: Stoke boss keen to avoid Cup upset

Mark Hughes: Stoke boss keen to avoid Cup upset

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Former Potters boss Tony Pulis came under fire last season when he made six changes to his first team in the second round last season, when his side were stunned by League One Swindon.

But Hughes is keen to avoid another early exit and insists he will make only "one or two" changes from the side that edged Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"I don't give up competitions lightly," Hughes said. "We want to do well in it and we want to progress in it, so I'll be putting out a strong team. There will be one or two changes but nothing wholesale.

"We've got a few bumps and bruises and we've got to protect guys who played against Palace but I'll be going strong in the team in the competition because I want to progress.

"Sometimes there are shocks in the competition because perhaps teams don't give the opposition enough respect in terms of their team selection.

"I've been bitten by that in the past and I didn't like the feeling so hopefully it won't happen again."

Hughes is likely to hand a debut to Morocco international winger Oussama Assaidi, who has completed a season-long loan move from Liverpool.

Hughes said: "Oussama had a few options and I'm delighted he has chosen to join us.

"He's an exciting player, who has great pace and is very direct and will certainly add another dimension to what we already have at the club."

Assaidi added: "I spoke to the manager here, he told me his hopes for the season and how he sees me fitting into the team and he made it a very attractive move for me.

"He plays football the right way, the way that I want to play, and it was quite an easy decision for me to make in the end.

"I came to the game on Saturday and watched the match and I was impressed. I feel I can fit in here well and help the team to progress."

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o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

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resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

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he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

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