Whelan eyes Europa progress

Stoke midfielder hopes to build on Blackburn victory

Glenn Whelan: Stoke midfielder hopeful of bagging maximum points against Dynamo Kiev at home

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Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan is hopeful of getting the better of Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday and progressing to the round of 32.

The Potters are currently placed in pole position in Group E with 10 points from four matches and will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with a win against the Ukrainian giants at the Britannia Stadium.

Tony Pulis' side warmed up for their fixture with a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League at home on Saturday, and Whelan believes that they can build on that and defeat Dynamo.

Massive game

"It was one of those occasions when the result mattered more than the performance on Saturday and now we have the chance to kick on after the recent run," the 27-year-old midfielder told his club's official website.

"The Dynamo Kiev game is a massive one for the players and the club because European nights like this certainly don't come around too often.

"But the lads are buzzing now and the Blackburn win will give us the confidence to go into Thursday's match and get the result that we need.

"Except for thosee four or five matches recently, we've had a really good season. We knew that we slipped up and our confidence was knocked back a bit, but hopefully now we're back on the right track and we can get the result we need in Europe."

Drawing parallels

Whelan, who will play for the Republic of Ireland in the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer, added: "Like we've done here at Stoke, Ireland have done really well to reach the Euros because nobody really gave us much of a chance of doing it.

"Now everyone is buzzing and they can't wait for the summer's Finals to come round.

"But we've got a lot to focus on before then, both in Europe and in the Premier League, and it would be fantastic to go further in the Europa League."