THOMAS SORENSEN has more reason than most to hope that Stoke City progress even further in this season's FA Cup competition . . . and probably wouldn't mind if it took a replay once again to overcome Wolverhampton Wanderers in their fourth round tie.

The Danish international goalkeeper returned to first team action for the two third round encounters with Championship high-fliers Cardiff City and is expected to be back on duty when the Potters visit Molineux for the Staffordshire derby this weekend.


It's a rare opportunity for Sorensen to emerge from the shadow of Asmir Begovic who has established himself as first choice over the past three months.

"Obviously, in my situation, I'll take any game that comes my way and the FA Cup is my chance at the moment," he commented. "As long as we keep progressing, either on Sunday or if it takes another replay, I'll be happy because it means more games for me.

"It is a frustrating situation because football for me is about being out on the pitch and having a say in the outcome of the game, rather than sitting on the bench.

"The important thing is that when I am given an opportunity, I try to take it so that I have a fighting chance of forcing my way back into the team on a regular basis."

Competition for the goalkeeping spot is very strong at the Britannia Stadium with international pair Sorensen and Begovic backed up by the experienced Carlo Nash.

"We've got a great competitive spirit and mutual respect for each other's ability," added the former Aston Villa and Sunderland 'keeper. "We're fighting for just the one place, but it is the manager who decides who plays, who is on the bench and who sits in the stand.

"When Asmir is playing, we're all behind him, and when I'm playing, I'm sure they're behind me too. At the end of the day, we just try to make each other better."

Like many of his team-mates, Sorensen has fond memories of City's success in reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup last season where they eventually lost to winners Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after being handed a particularly tough draw at that stage.

"Hopefully, this year we can go one or two steps further because we were a bit unlucky with the draw after our memorable wins over Arsenal and Manchester City last season, and you do need a bit of luck if you are to go far in this competition," he declared.

"It's going to be very tough for us on Sunday, but there is no reason why we can't go to Molineux and get a result, even though we lost there on the opening day of the season. If we do go through, then people will begin wonder if it could be our year.

"That was what happened last season after the Arsenal and Manchester City ties, and when you consider that clubs like Cardiff and Portsmouth have made it through to the final in recent years, who is to say we can't go much further this time."

Sorensen is likely to be one of a number of changes at Molineux, but he still expects to go there full of confidence that City can get the right result.

"The League is the priority for us, but this is a chance for other players in the squad to show what they can do and put on a performance," he said.