Post-Pompey plane drama depresses Potters

LONDON - A plane carrying Stoke City players back home after their League Cup defeat at Portsmouth was forced to make an emergency landing in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The plane, on route from Southampton to East Midlands Airport, was diverted to Gatwick Airport after players reported a burning smell in the cabin.

"Although there was no visible sign of any fire following an inspection... the squad was forced to abandon the flight and return to Stoke by way of a long coach journey," Stoke said on their website.

Stoke were thrashed 4-0 by their Premier League rivals in the fourth round tie on Tuesday.