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Jedinak eyeing Stoke scalp
Published : 14 Jan 2013 15:26:00
Mile Jedinak admits Crystal Palace look up to FA Cup opponents Stoke City in more ways than one.
Palace are challenging for promotion to the Premier League, where Stoke have become an established side since they went up in 2008. And Eagles skipper Jedinak is ready for another battle with Tony Pulis' team of six-footers in Tuesday's replay as they attempt to secure a fourth-round tie with Manchester City.
"We know they are direct in some sense, they have some really tall lads and great quality players," he said.
"You want to test yourself against good players. They are where we want to be, they've been there a number of years and they are a solid Premier League team.
"They have earned their respect, and we showed them that. They are where they are for a reason but it's good to mix it with them."
The Eagles had the better of the first match at Selhurst Park, which ended 0-0, but face a tough task at the Britannia where Stoke were unbeaten this season until Saturday's 4-0 defeat by Chelsea. However, Australian midfielder Jedinak is confident his side, who won at Manchester United in last season's League Cup, can spring another surprise.
"Every game is difficult and you have to treat the opposition with respect," he added. "But in saying that you can't stray away from what you believe in and your philosophy of football.
"I don't see why we can't go through. There's a lot of confidence around the place and we are playing with that confidence."
"We know it will be a difficult game, they have got a great record at home in the Premier League so we are not going to kid ourselves".
"But we'll take a lot of confidence from the first game. Overall we were pretty happy with our display, we just couldn't get the goal."
Palace could do without the distraction of a replay with promotion their priority this season. Manager Ian Holloway admitted as much after the first match, claiming he had simply wanted either to win or lose. And Jedinak said:
"Would we like an extra game? Probably not, but we've got it and we've just got to deal with it."
"It's not frustrating. We are professional athletes so we just have to get on with it, whether the manager decides to go with you or not, we are all in it as a group and it's got to be done."
Holloway is likely to make changes to his team with one eye on Saturday's Championship visit of Bolton. Kagisho Dikgacoi is on international duty with South Africa, while fellow midfielder Owen Garvan has a knee injury. Wilfried Zaha is expected to play amid continued speculation he is heading for the Premier League this month with Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly lining up bids.