Pulis wary of resurgent West Ham

11 March 2011 02:00

Stoke boss Tony Pulis finds it amazing that West Ham have struggled this season and knows only too well the threat they will pose to his team in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at the Britannia Stadium.

The Hammers have been mired in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for most of the campaign but are unbeaten in four games in all competitions and have won their last three. The latest of those victories was a 3-0 triumph in the league against the Potters last weekend at Upton Park.

"It's a great opportunity for the football club," Pulis said. "To reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup two years running is a fantastic achievement and we are hoping we will go one better than we did last year."

He added: "We got beat at West Ham on Saturday and well beaten in the end, so it will be a difficult game.

"You look at their team and the players they have got - Robert Green, who has played for England, and Wayne Bridge and Matthew Upson in the back four who have done as well.

"You've got Scott Parker and Carlton Cole who are England internationals, then Thomas Hitzlsperger and the three forwards.

"It is amazing that West Ham have not done better than they have done, but they have just hit form at the right time, so we know it will be a tough game for us."

Pulis has confirmed that goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen will play on Sunday, stepping in for first-choice stopper Asmir Begovic as he has done for the previous rounds.

Matthew Etherington, who came on as a substitute in last weekend's encounter, appears to be fully over his recent back problems so is in contention to start this time against his old club, but fellow winger Jermaine Pennant has a knee complaint and will be assessed ahead of the game.

Source: PA