Stoke manager Mark Hughes relieved after 'emotional' penalty-shootout victory over Birmingham in League Cup
The Potters eventually triumphed 4-2 in a shootout after courageous Blues kept battling back
Wednesday 30 October 2013
Mark Hughes is delighted to see his Stoke side in Wednesday night's draw for the Capital One Cup quarter-finals but knows they did it the hard way.
The Potters were pushed to the limit in their fourth-round tie against a Birmingham side who, despite seeing Wade Elliott sent off at the end of the first half, scored twice late on in normal time and then again at the end of extra time to force an incredible 4-4 draw at St Andrew's.
Stoke eventually triumphed 4-2 on penalties to make the last eight of the competition for only the third time since winning the League Cup back in 1972, the sole major honour in the club's 150-year history.
And Hughes, who won the trophy with three different clubs as a player but has only ever reached the semi-finals as a manager, would love to take the Staffordshire club to Wembley in his first season at the helm.
"We wanted to be in the next round and we've achieved that but we didn't think we'd have to go through the amount of emotion we've expended," he said.
"It should have a been a lot more comprehensive and comfortable for us. But we got through so we're grateful for that."
Hughes added: "You saw by my selection that it was a strong team and a team that was more than capable of winning the game and we got in a position where we should have won the game. It's just that last period that's disappointed us but we'll learn from that.
"Our fans here were magnificent and came out in numbers on a Tuesday night. They were great for us and it would be great to reward them for their support this year."
Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham, who won the competition in 2011, could arguably take more positives out of the tie despite their exit.
And proud Blues boss Lee Clark was clear in his praise for his side.
"They've given everything, they've ticked every box - pride, passion, work ethic, quality on the ball and never giving in," he said.
"I couldn't have wished or hoped for anything more than what those players have given me under those circumstances.
"I just wish Lady Luck would shine on us a little bit more than (she) has over the course of the season because there've been league games where we've deserved more than we've got."
Latest in Sport
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
Raheem Sterling interview: No amount of money can convince Sterling to stay at Liverpool
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England shirt is now
The 10 potential biggest transfers of the summer: Raheem Sterling, Theo Walcott and Radamel Falcao in the mix
Liverpool injury news: Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren expected to be ready for Arsenal clash
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men