Cort unfazed by exit plans
Stoke defender Leon Cort is determined to make the most of his first-team opportunity against Blackpool, even if it may result in him leaving the club. The out-of-favour centre-back is likely to start in Tuesday's Carling Cup fixture alongside other fringe players such as Michael Tonge, Carl Dickinson and Tom Soares. Potters manager Tony Pulis is eager to send a number of his reserves out on loan and will likely use the clash with Blackpool as a shop window for them. Despite knowing that his performance at the Britannia Stadium will be closely monitored, the 30-year-old says progressing to the next round is his primary aim. "Yes, we are in the shop window and it could work both ways for us. Someone could be watching you and you have a 'mare," Cort told The Sentinel. "I think you just have to approach the game with a determination to go out there and do the business, so there won't be a conflict of interest as far as I'm concerned. "We are all still Stoke City players and so you want to do the best you can for the club." Championship sides Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest are reportedly interested in agreeing a temporary deal for the defender's services. Despite facing the prospect of dropping down a division, Cort is relishing the prospect of getting back into first-team action. "The gaffer has told me there's been a bit of interest in me from other clubs and that they are good clubs," he added. "You never know what's going to happen, but it is really hard at the minute when you're not playing. I've had a fantastic time here at Stoke, but you want to be playing football." Cort is also wary of the threat posed by the Tangerines, who thrashed Premier League outfit Wigan 4-1 in the previous round. "Whichever team we put out, we know it's going to be tough for us because Blackpool are flying at the moment and will come here full of confidence," he said. "It's a chance for some of us to get some fitness and a game under our belt, so we should be raring to go."
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