Pennant believes team spirit could be key

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Stoke City winger Jermaine Pennant believes team spirit could be the key at Wembley on Saturday.

The Potters face Manchester City in the FA Cup final, and start as overwhelming underdogs against Roberto Mancini's big-spenders.

A former Notts County starlet who moved to Arsenal without playing for the Magpies, Pennant appeared to lose his way as a player before moving to the Britannia Stadium from Real Zaragoza in Spain. The 28-year-old has been revitalised under Tony Pulis, and believes his side have a chance against the Citizens.

"I've been at Arsenal and Liverpool and they are massive clubs but they've got something missing, you don't feel the togetherness. You'll have foreigners there and the English players over here and they'll all be separated," he told The Sun.

"At Stoke everyone is one. Here everything is just perfect."

Pennant is aware of the history surrounding Stoke's trip to the final, the first in the club's history, and whilst the pressure is off the Potters it still represents a great opportunity to make history for the current crop of players at the club.


"Because it's such a massive achievement for the club to get to the cup final it makes it that little bit better. If you are at teams who get to an FA Cup final every other year it's like, 'OK we got to another cup final, great'. But it's the first time for Stoke so it means more and it's a first for me so we've got something in common."

The winger's form has led to calls in some quarters for an England call-up, and Pennant admits that he's been given a platform to produce his best football at Stoke.

Despite questions over his temperament in the past, Pennant now appears to be settled and is happy to pay tribute to his manager for the opportunity to ply his trade once again in the Barclays Premier League.

"The boss talked about the past and told me, 'That's gone now you're in my team. All I want you to do is work hard, don't take your foot off the gas and, if you do that, there won't be a problem,' he continued.

"It's true if you're given a platform and you're enjoying your surroundings then the football will do your talking."

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Jermaine Pennant
Stoke City
Premier League

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