Pulis will not rest stars
Stoke boss ignores the threat of injury ahead of day at Wembley
Last Updated: April 29, 2011 3:32pm
Stoke manager Tony Pulis has insisted the FA Cup final will not stop him from fielding his best team against Blackpool.
The Potters will play in English football's showpiece event in two weeks' time but have lost key players over the last few days.
Matthew Etherington looks set to miss the final with a torn hamstring and Ricardo Fuller ruptured his Achilles.
Both players picked up the injuries in the 3-0 victory over Wolves which has effectively doused their relegation fears.
""The player you're protecting could go out and train and go over on his ankle. I think you've just got to play it the way you normally play it and get on with it."
Tony Pulis Quotes of the week
Yet despite this, Pulis maintains that he will play his best available XI in the games against Blackpool and Arsenal before the cup final.
He said: "The player you're protecting could go out and train and go over on his ankle. I think you've just got to play it the way you normally play it and get on with it.
"We've got two games to go. It's a three-game week for us, we've got a very tough game at Blackpool on Saturday and then we play Arsenal, which again will be a very tough game.
"We'll rest and recover like we've done all through the season and we'll pick a team that will go to Blackpool and hopefully do the best they possibly can."
Pulis has instilled a level of professionalism at the club now that prohibits Stoke from taking their foot off the gas against anyone.
Their 3-0 triumph over Wolves heaped further relegation pressure on Mick McCarthy's side and a defeat of Blackpool could go a long way to condemning the Seasiders to the drop.
Ian Holloway's side, though, produced a battling display last week against Newcastle to garner a draw and haul themselves out of the relegation zone.
It was a display that impressed the Stoke chief.
"I think Ian would have been disappointed with their performance against Wigan but against Newcastle they looked as though they'd got their fire in their belly back and they were really having a crack at it," Pulis added.
"They were unfortunate not to win that game so we know it will be a tough game. They're fighting for their lives.
"They've done fantastically well, Ian's done a great job there and this is the time of the season where he'll need his players to stand up. We'll go there and we'll know that we'll be in for a right battle."