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Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Thursday, 7 April 2011 15:54 UK

Stoke City visit Wembley ahead of FA Cup semi-final

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis
Pulis managed Gillingham at Wembley in a play-off final in 1999

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has revealed that he took the squad to visit Wembley on Monday, 13 days before their FA Cup semi-final against Bolton.

The Potters will be making their first appearance at the new national stadium.

"We went down on Monday, more as a case of getting everybody together rather than doing anything really, really special," Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke.

"It took us an hour and 20 minutes on the train, we bought them something to eat and kept them together."

Stoke's last appearance at Wembley was in 2000, when they beat Bristol City 2-1 to win the Football League Trophy for the second time.

Stoke have beaten Cardiff, Wolves, Brighton and West Ham en route to the last four, although the man who scored the winning goal in their quarter-final over the Hammers, Danny Higginbotham, will be absent on 17 April.

The former Derby, Southampton and Sunderland defender has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

"I'm disappointed for him because he's such a great lad," said Pulis. "Danny is such an important team member.

"I want him to be at Wembley, I want him to be involved with the group and keep him close to the group because a lot of people look up to him at this football club.

Danny Collins, Danny Pugh and Andy Wilkinson are all possible candidates to replace Higginbotham at left-back.

"The team I pick at Tottenham [on Saturday] will be a team that I hope can get some points down there and then we'll pick a team that will hopefully do well against Bolton," added Pulis.

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see also
Stoke legend Conroy in recovery
07 Apr 11 |  Stoke & Staffordshire
Stoke hit by Higginbotham injury
05 Apr 11 |  Stoke
Stoke City song is YouTube 'hit'
04 Apr 11 |  Stoke & Staffordshire
Potters will reach final - Berry
29 Mar 11 |  Stoke
Banks talk inspired Stoke - Pulis
14 Mar 11 |  Stoke
Pulis relief as Stoke make semis
13 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
Stoke City 2-1 West Ham United
13 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
Man Utd to face Man City in semi
14 Mar 11 |  FA Cup

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