Diao issues City warning
Salif Diao has warned Manchester City not to expect an easy ride when they arrive at the Britannia Stadium.
Last Updated: 15/02/10 6:57pm
Salif Diao has warned Manchester City not to expect an easy ride when they arrive at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday.
The Potters are set to face the ambitious Blues for the second time in four days, having held them to a 1-1 draw at Eastlands in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.
Tony Pulis' men successfully managed to frustrate City on that occasion, keeping their dreams of landing major silverware alive.
Diao expects more of the same from the Potters in midweek, with the combative midfielder admitting Stoke will play to their strengths in an effort to gain a positive result.
Their equaliser in the weekend cup clash came from a trademark long throw from Rory Delap, and City can expect another aerial bombardment at the Britannia.
Diao told the club's official website: "I think it is one of our weapons and we need to use it.
"It is working so we need to carry on using it."
He added: "I think the Britannia, as everyone knows, is a very hard ground to come to.
"I can't see any players saying they like to come to the Britannia because they all know what to expect - it will a hard battle."
Diao is also hoping to hang on to his starting berth on Tuesday, with the Senegal international recently dropped following a lacklustre showing against Sunderland on 1st February.
He said: "I think in the last two or three weeks I haven't really been in the right shape.
"I played very badly - I think that was my worst game, at Sunderland, since I have been in England.
"The confidence was not there so I think the gaffer did well to put me out.
"There is a lot of competition for places. You play badly and someone else plays, you play well and you carry on playing.
"I just made sure while I wasn't in for the last few games that I worked very hard on the side and waited for my chance to come back and to make sure I delivered what the gaffer and fans are expecting from me."