Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday May 4 2007
6th May 2007
This match hardly needs any introduction after a week where the only talking point in the red and white half of the Potteries has been 'can they do it?'.
3,000 fans will travel to London to cheer on the team and a further large crowd are expected to watch it on a big screen at the Brit where the match is being beamed back live.
Club Chairman, Peter Coates gave instructions last weekend that there should be no goal flashes on the Brit scoreboard during the Colchester game and coach, Mark O'Connor also said that the team know that they need to perform on the pitch without having to worry about scores elsewhere. He told the official site: 'We really are focused on what we are doing, the other results don't really concern us because we are convinced that if we win we will be in there.'
Adding, 'We have played 45 games this season and now it is down to one game, I think this is the one time when the players don't need any motivation from the coaches or manager.'
Danny Cullip, Lee Cook and Dexter Blackstock should all be fit after suffering injuries in the last couple of games.
Defender, Pat Kanyuka will face a late fitness test after sustaining a thigh injury in their 2-0 defeat at Wolves last Saturday.
In other news, John Gregory has been clearing the shelves ahead of the summer break and Potters' fans will be pleased to see that Marc Bircham has been told that his contract will not be renewed along with Paul Furlong, Kevin Gallen, Paul Jones, Steve Lomas, Mauro Milanese, Simon Royce and Armel Tchakounte.
The former Southampton striker left St. Mary's at the same time as Ricardo Fuller joined Stoke and has 13 goals to his credit this season.
Liam Lawrence is definitely out after tearing his tendon and will probably be replaced by Lee Martin. But, unsurprisingly, the remainder of last week's starting eleven will be available to play, although Andy Griffin will only be on the pitch courtesy of some pre-match injections for a groin injury.
Now is not the time to pick out an individual. The whole team know what they've got to do and the potential prize that awaits them if they can get into the play-offs.
Last time we played QPR back in December at the Brit, the 1-0 win, thanks to a Higginbotham penalty, was enough to move us up into fifth place. A similiar result on Sunday would be great!
It should have been Uriah Rennie, but the League have made a last minute replacement and now Clive Penton is the man in black.
A win - what else?
I'm not tempting fate.....
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Date:Friday May 4 2007
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Team news: Aston Villa v Stoke City (Saturday October 3 2015)
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