Jon Walters will bounce back from Chelsea nightmare, says teammate Begovic
Published 14/01/2013 | 15:11
IRELAND international Jon Walters will move on swiftly from his nightmare outing against Chelsea by scoring in tomorrow night's FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace, his teammate Asmir Begovic has predicted.
Walters had a truly miserable time of it when the Blues visited the Britannia Stadium for Saturday's Barclays Premier League match, heading in two own goals and missing a penalty as the Potters were beaten 4-0.
Begovic says the international striker is strong enough to bounce back from that and would not be surprised to see Walters make an immediate return to form by getting on the scoresheet against Palace, who Stoke are hosting for a third-round replay after drawing 0-0 with them in the original tie on January 5.
"I don't think anybody will worry about Jon Walters," Begovic said.
"His character and personality won't be affected by anything that happens to him.
"It was a couple of unfortunate incidents for him. I take the blame for the second goal because I probably should have come for the ball, but seeing him there I decided not to.
"He is a big enough character to bounce back and I am sure he will probably score a goal on Tuesday."
The Chelsea defeat was 10th-placed Stoke's first at home in the league since February and the heaviest they have ever suffered on their own turf in a Premier League fixture.
It also means they have conceded seven goals in their last two games at the Britannia Stadium, having drawn 3-3 with Southampton on December 29.
Prior to that result, they had let in only four in their nine home top-flight matches for the season, and Begovic - who is likely to be rested tomorrow - is optimistic the Potters can get things back on track in front of their own supporters in the contest with npower Championship outfit Palace.
"You always want to put things right and hopefully we can do that on Tuesday," Begovic said.
"Crystal Palace will come here with nothing to lose.
"We appreciate the support from the crowd. We feed off it and it is important to have it.
"No matter what the result, they are always there cheering us on and we appreciate that.
"Hopefully we can put things right for them as well on Tuesday."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits there was some despondency in the camp off the back of Saturday's loss and is determined to get his players geared up again for the FA Cup, a competition in which they were runners-up in 2011 and quarter-finalists last term.
"There's one or two broken hearts in the dressing room and we'll have to have a look at those and then take it from there," Pulis said.
"We want to do well in the FA Cup. We've only lost two in 12 in the cup and we want to keep that run going."
Pulis is set to make a number of adjustments to his first XI for tomorrow's match.
Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, a regular for the Potters in cup competition, looks set to come in for Begovic once again, while striker Michael Owen will be hoping to be back involved after starting the initial meeting with Palace but then missing out on a place in the squad for the Chelsea game.
Irish international Marc Wilson and midfielder Rory Delap, who have been sidelined by a broken leg and calf problem respectively, remain unavailable.