We never looked like going out to Tottenham, says Sorensen

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The Independent Online

The Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was keen to focus on the efforts of his team-mates after his penalty shoot-out save secured victory over Tottenham and a place in the Carling Cup fourth round.

Tuesday night's third-round tie at the Britannia Stadium had finished 0-0 after extra-time, with Sorensen palming a powerful strike by Roman Pavlyuchenko over the bar in the 53rd minute and substitute Jon Walters unable to convert a one-on-one chance for the hosts in the additional half-hour.

The Denmark keeper then proved to be Stoke's hero, pushing away young Spurs debutant Massimo Luongo's spot-kick to seal a 7-6 triumph in the shoot-out , although Sorensen stressed that he did not deserve to take all the credit.

"It's nice to get the plaudits for the save, but it was the other lads who stepped up and put the ball into the back of the net," Sorensen said. "They had the real pressure, because as outfield players you are expected to score. For me to make that save was nice and I'm just delighted that we won the game.

"We played nearly two-and-a-half hours of football and we never really looked in danger of losing the game at any point in my opinion.

"We had chances in the first half and in the second half. Jon was unlucky in extra-time when it just rolled the wrong side of the post, but we got there in the end. We had to persevere, but we are in that draw and that's all that matters now."

Both teams were playing their third game in six days due to their Europa League exploits and the draining experience of a 120-minute match followed by penalties was the last thing either manager wanted.

It was a scenario Stoke's Tony Pulis was sure Sir Alex Ferguson – who brings his Manchester United side to the Britannia Stadium for Saturday's early evening Premier League kick-off – will have been delighted with, and the Welshman has called upon Stoke's fans to back their side to the hilt at the weekend.

"Sir Alex will be rubbing his hands," Pulis said. "The only thing I will say is how good our 15,000 supporters were and I hope 28,000 will turn up on Saturday because we really, really need them to get behind the lads."

Saturday is also when the draw for the last 16 of the Carling Cup will be made and Pulis is hoping to land another home tie as Stoke look to return to Wembley after last season's FA Cup semi-final and final appearances there.

"We'll take anyone at home, anybody at the Brit," he said. "It's the last 16 now, so it gives us a chance again."

Although the defeat has eased Tottenham's hectic schedule, their manager Harry Redknapp was adamant he took no pleasure in losing. "You don't want to lose any game, I don't care what game you play," Redknapp said. "If I wanted to lose I'd have played the youth team.

"We came here to win and we wanted to stay in the competition – we wanted to go to Wembley."

Wolves starlet Matt Doherty is keen to further his development on loan having celebrated a new contract by stepping out at Molineux for the first time in Tuesday's Carling Cup triumph over Millwall.

The 19-year-old right-back was making only his third senior appearance – and the first on home soil – as the Black Country club made light work of their Championship opponents, romping home 5-0 to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.

Doherty, who represented the Republic of Ireland at this summer's Under-19 European Championship, has now tied himself down to Wolves until 2014, with his original deal due to expire at the end of this season. He is now looking to enhancing his experience and, should that not come with Wolves, he is ready and willing to step into the second tier.

"Premier League games are probably still a bit far away but if I can play in as many cup games as possible, game-time is all I want really," said Doherty, who put in a fine display against Kenny Jackett's side.

"Nobody's come in for me on loan yet, hopefully maybe there was someone watching. But if the gaffer still wants me to go out, I'm not sure.

"Going on loan is very much an option, I'm not going to play every week so maybe at that level every week then obviously I would improve.

"If I don't go on loan I'd like to play the remaining cup games for as long as we're in the competition, and the FA Cup as well. A few injuries, you never know, and you could make a Premier League appearance. If not then the main aim will be to go on loan."

Speaking about Doherty's display, manager Mick McCarthy added: "Matt was as good as anyone on the field, he's a good player. He's just signed a new contract and I'm delighted with him."

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