Crawley Town manager Steve Evans insists his side do not fear their FA Cup fifth round opponents Stoke City and are capable of springing a surprise against the Premier League outfit (Crawley 11/4, draw 12/5, Stoke Evs).
League Two Crawley are once again the lowest ranked team in the competition after reaching the same stage last year, where they narrowly lost 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
They have already knocked out Championship sides Hull City and Bristol City without conceding a goal and are also just a point off the top of the League Two table (Crawley to win 1-0 – 17/2).
Last year’s finalists Stoke meanwhile head to the Broadfield Stadium on the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Valencia in the Europa League, with boss Tony Pulis set to make a number of changes as he juggles the demands of domestic and European football.
Evans admits his side face a tough task against a side 60 places above them in the league standings, but insists they will not be overawed given their form over the past two seasons.
“I can’t say it any louder or clearer that we respect Stoke City, but we certainly don’t fear them,” said the 49-year-old.
“We know we could be on the reverse of a 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0 scoreline because we are playing a Premier League side.
“But they could be on the end of a 1-0 defeat, couldn’t they?”