Football

Stoke boss Mark Hughes eyes Capital One Cup glory

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Mark Hughes feels his Stoke side are capable of going all the way in the Capital One Cup this season.

The Potters booked their place in the semi-finals with Tuesday's comfortable 2-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Also in the draw for the last four will be Manchester City, Everton and Southampton or Liverpool, with the latter pair playing each other tonight.

And Hughes has talked up Stoke's prospects as they look to emulate the run that last saw them play in the League Cup semis - the 1971-72 campaign in which they won the competition.

Asked if he felt his men were capable of claiming the trophy this time, the Stoke manager said after the quarter-final win: "Yes, I think so.

"Southampton we beat a couple of weeks back, last season we did the double over Everton and beat Manchester City, and Liverpool, I seem to recall, we beat in the last game of the season, so we have got a chance."

The Welshman - whose team defeated holders Chelsea in the previous round - added: "It's the first time we have got to a League Cup semi-final in 40-odd years, so it's been a long time, but now we're there it's a case of trying to get to the final.

"We'd love to do that and if we can get silverware, all well and good. We'd be delighted if we could.''

A sweet volley in the 30th minute by Ibrahim Afellay and substitute Phil Bardsley's low 75th-minute strike sealed the triumph at the Britannia Stadium.

Wednesday had demonstrated their capacity to spring a shock in the two previous rounds with victories over Stoke's fellow Barclays Premier League sides Newcastle and Arsenal.

But the Sky Bet Championship outfit rarely looked like threatening an upset on this occasion, with the hosts in control more or less throughout.

And Hughes, whose only negative on the evening was the early loss of Peter Crouch to a hamstring injury, praised his team for an efficient night's work.

He said: "I was pleased with the performance - we got the job done.

"It was important not to underestimate the challenge. We went into it with the right mentality and it was quite a straightforward victory in the end - we didn't allow them to get any foothold in the game.

"I'm really pleased with the amount of control and our ability to manage the game to a conclusion."

Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal was keen to pay tribute to his players' efforts over the course of their entire cup run, as well as to the club's supporters, more than 4,500 of which were in attendance.

Carvalhal said: "I'm unhappy because we are out but I am happy about what we did in the whole competition.

"We put out two strong teams in Arsenal and Newcastle and I must congratulate my players - and our fans, who were amazing again. Our best player was the fans."

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Topics:
Sheffield Wednesday
Football
League Cup

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