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Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Thursday, 10 March 2011

Stoke crowd vital for FA Cup tie, says Glenn Whelan

Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan
Whelan has featured in all four of Stoke's FA Cup ties this season

Glenn Whelan believes the support of the home crowd will give Stoke City a huge advantage in their FA Cup quarter-final tie against West Ham on Sunday.

The Potters have yet to lose at the Britannia Stadium in 2011.

"We're on our home patch, that's where we're solid and hopefully that's what we'll be on Sunday," the 27-year-old midfielder told BBC Radio Stoke.

"If we can get right at them in the first five or ten minutes, I'm sure the crowd will be right behind us."

The Republic of Ireland international continued: "Since I havebeen at the club the crowd have been great, no matter who we play.

"They came out in their numbers in the last round against Brighton. It's up to us as players to give the fans something to shout about."

Tony Pulis' side have won three and drawn one of their four Premier League matches at home this calendar year, a stark contrast to their away form. Last Saturday's 3-0 defeat against West Ham at the Boleyn Ground was the Potters' sixth consecutive away defeat in the Premier League.

We'll come good and get the points we need, I'm sure of that

Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan

Manager Pulis has targeted at least two wins from the final nine matches to ensure top-flight survival and Whelan is confident that the victories can be achieved.

"You don't want to be looking over your shoulder, we can only worry about ourselves," he said. "The manager will be working us hard to get out of this situation and the run that we're on.

"We'll come good and get the points we need, I'm sure of that."

Stoke have never reached the FA Cup final and a victory on Sunday would see them reach the last four of the competition for the first time since 1972.

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see also
Pennant wants call from Republic
08 Mar 11 |  Stoke
Pulis backs Begovic after blunder
06 Mar 11 |  Stoke
West Ham 3-0 Stoke
05 Mar 11 |  Premier League
Delap unhappy to surrender lead
02 Mar 11 |  Stoke
Stoke crowd fantastic, says Pulis
01 Mar 11 |  Stoke

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