Stoke is going to loom large in the life of Roberto Mancini’s men for the next ten days but Joleon Lescott, for one, is sure that the Blues can pull off a memorable League and Cup double.
The two sides meet at the Britannia stadium with three points at stake on Tuesday night in a rearranged contest and then eight days later square off again for a place in the last eight of the FA Cup.
Lescott believes that one of those matches should not have been necessary but nevertheless remains confident.
“I would say Saturday was an opportunity missed because we played well in the first half and I think we deserved to win but we needed the second goal because you know that Stoke can always be a threat,” declared the England defender.
We know that we are not out of things and that we now have to go to the Britannia and win twice in a week. That is not an easy thing to do but we have the ability
...Joleon Lescott on facing Stoke again..and again!
“Maybe they are favourites now for the replay with home advantage but with Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy back and if Shaun Wright-Phillips plays the way he did on Saturday then we always fancy ourselves to get a goal.”
Lescott was one of four England World Cup ‘possibles’ being watched by Fabio Capello in the 1-1 draw though he insists that he, SWP, Wayne Bridge and Gareth Barry had more important considerations than the faces sat in the directors’ box.
“We had an inkling he would be here but the only thing on anyone’s mind was trying to beat Stoke and make the last eight of the FA Cup,” declared the central defender who reached last season’s Wembley showcase when he was at Everton.
“We know it will be physical and hostile at Stoke on Tuesday and in the replay but as far as the first game goes it is one of our games in hand and we have the carrot of a top four place as our prize so we will go there with confidence and with a couple of additional attacking options at the manager’s disposal.
“Then we have got Liverpool, which is another vital match, coming to our place and after that and only after that can we then think about the replay.”