Hughes optimistic of League Cup progression

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is confident of beating Manchester United on Wednesday after a spirited show at Old Trafford this season.

Hughes is preparing his side for a quarter-final League Cup clash with David Moyes' men at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday, with the club looking for their best showing in the competition since lifting the trophy in 1972.

United have never lost to Stoke in the Premier League, with their last setback coming in a 2-1 defeat in the League Cup in 1993.

Stoke pushed the reigning champions close in a losing effort at Old Trafford in October, a match they led 2-1 before late strikes from Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez secured a 3-2 victory for United.

And Hughes feels that showing proves Stoke cause a surprise and reach the final four.

"We will take confidence from the fact that we performed so well at Old Trafford earlier in the season," he said.

"We scored two very good goals and were unfortunate not to see the game out. Hopefully we can do this on Wednesday and secure ourselves a passage into the next stage.

"It will be a tough game though, because United are United. They have world class players, they had a good result and performance at Villa on Sunday so they will be hoping to follow that up with another good result against us.

"It is down to us to stop them though. We know that if we play to our maximum we have a real chance of winning the game.

"There are a lot of games coming up and I am mindful of that, but we want to stay in the competition, because if we come through this tie then we are in the last four - and from there on in, anything is possible."

Stoke head into the fixture in good form with a 4-0 defeat at Everton their only loss in eight matches across all competitions, and Hughes believes the side is constantly improving.

He added: "We have suffered one defeat in eight, in all competitions so we are pleased with that. We are progressing well, we are improving all of the time too.

"We have a decent defensive record - six or seven clean sheets which are very satisfying too. There are a lot of positives to be taken from the past few weeks, Everton aside of course."