DELAP: WE CAN GIVE VALENCIA A TEST
Rory Delap has assured the thousands of Stoke fans who have travelled out to Valencia that the side will give everything in a bid to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.
The headlines before Thursday night's second leg, in which the Potters are attempting to overturn a 1-0 deficit, centred on boss Tony Pulis' squad selection, with star names like Ryan Shawcross, Matthew Etherington, Peter Crouch and Jon Walters left behind.
An estimated 4,000 Stoke supporters have descended on Spain hoping to spur their team on to what would be a shock victory at the Mestalla, with Valencia boasting a significant European pedigree in the Europa League, UEFA Cup and Champions League.
Delap took encouragement from Stoke's performance at the Britannia Stadium last week, where they were beaten only by Mehmet Topal's 30-yard screamer, and backed the players who have travelled to deliver.
The midfielder said: "We obviously knew Valencia were a top side but it took a wonder goal to beat us and I think, with a little tweak here and there, and if a few of us perform a little bit better, than we can give Valencia a game.
"We're not coming here to roll over and go out of the competition. People are saying about the team we've brought over but there's not one of us who is going to turn up here and think the tie is over.
"There's a lot of fans coming from England and we'd let ourselves, the club and everyone associated with Stoke down if any one of us thought that."
Delap headed out to Spain a relieved man after the Football Association overturned the red card he was shown for a challenge on Crawley's David Hunt in Sunday's FA Cup clash, which the Potters went on to win 2-0.
The 35-year-old said: "I was fuming but the club again stood by me and we've managed to overturn it. I've heard the lad's injured so I send my best to him but I thought it was a fair tackle at the time, I've seen it on video and I still think it was.
"My first thought was for the team and thank God they managed to put a professional performance in and get the win."
Pulis welcomed the decision after failing in an appeal against Robert Huth's red card in the Premier League defeat by Sunderland earlier this month, and he called for clubs and officials to come to a consensus on dangerous tackles.
"There's a grey area that has to be sorted out," said the Potters boss. "The biggest problem is there's such a difference at times between what we think is a bad challenge and what referees think is a bad challenge and I think we've got to get together and try and close that gap."
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