Despite suffering two defeats on the road over Christmas, Dave Jones went into Saturday's FA Cup fixture at The Britannia Stadium full of optimism and belief that his side could get a result against Barclays Premier League opposition.
It was evident that the Cardiff City boss still had one eye on the league as both Craig Bellamy and Seyi Olofinjana were rested for the tie, with next weekends fixture against an in form Norwich in mind. This left Michael Chopra and Andy Keogh to lead the line in attack against Stoke.
Chopra, who scored the winner in City's Tuesday night victory at Elland Road, was on hand to give the Welsh side the lead again breaking the deadlock against Tony Pulis' side after just eight minutes of play. From a Stephen McPhail cross, Chopra found himself free in the area and at the second time of asking powered the ball past keeper Asmir Begovic.
Heading towards half time questions were asked as to whether The Bluebirds could cause one of the biggest upsets of the third round, but a minute before the interval Turkish international Tuncay fired the ball past Marshall into the bottom corner, making sure the sides were level at the break.
The home side fought strong and showed their Premier League credentials as they pushed for a winner, but some great Cardiff defending ensured they held the Potters to a draw and forced them to a replay at the Cardiff City stadium.
The Bluebirds should welcome back both Bellamy and Olofinjana at the weekend, where victory against the Canaries could see the Welsh side close the gap on leaders QPR to two points.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.