Stoke City: Jedinak and Co ready to send Stoke packing
CRYSTAL Palace can head north this evening and spring a surprise to rank alongside their famous League Cup victory at Manchester United last season.
That's the view of midfielder Mile Jedinak ahead of tonight's third round FA Cup replay at the Britannia Stadium (7.45pm).
He says the Palace squad, while respecting their Premier League hosts, will draw confidence from their spirited showing against Stoke in the first meeting at Selhurst Park.
"I don't see why we can't go through," said Jedinak, reflecting on a goalless draw 10 days ago in which Stoke's Thomas Sorensen was easily the busier of the two goalkeepers.
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"There's a lot of confidence around the place and we are playing with that confidence.
"We know it will be a difficult game – they have got a great record at home in the Premier League so we are not going to kid ourselves.
"But we'll take a lot of confidence from the first game. Overall we were pretty happy with our display, we just couldn't get the goal."
Jedinak admitted there were mixed feelings about a long midweek trip to a chilly Britannia, but insisted the Palace squad would be professional in trying to secure a home tie against Manchester City in the next round.
"Would we like an extra game? Probably not, but we've got it and we've just got to deal with it," he stated.
"It's not frustrating. We are professional athletes so we just have to get on with it, whether the manager decides to go with you or not. We are all in it as a group and it's got to be done."
The Aussie-born midfielder says he has no complaints with Stoke's style of play, while the their recent Premier League success provides a benchmark for aspiring Championship clubs like Crystal Palace.
"We know they are direct in some sense, they have some really tall lads and great quality players," he said.
"You want to test yourself against good players. They are where we want to be, they've been there a number of years and they are a solid Premier League team.
"They have earned their respect, and we showed them that. They are where they are for a reason, but it's good to mix it with them.
"Every game is difficult and you have to treat the opposition with respect, but in saying that you can't stray away from what you believe in and your philosophy of football."
Palace boss Ian Holloway will have half-an-eye on Saturday's Championship clash with Bolton – and the return to Selhurst Park of former Palace manager Dougie Freedman – when selecting his starting 11 for tonight.
But the smart money is on 22-goal striker Glenn Murray returning to their line-up after missing the first game.
And Wilfried Zaha is expected to play, despite ever-increasing speculation linking him to a January move into the Premier League.
Both Manchester United and Arsenal are believed to be assembling bids.