Craig Westcarr today claimed league points come before cup glory for Walsall ahead of tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash at Stoke.
The Saddlers head to the Britannia Stadium looking to pull off a shock in the second round against the Premier League side.
It is the second year running they have faced top flight opposition at this stage of the competition, after losing 3-0 to QPR last season – who at the time were managed by current Stoke boss Mark Hughes.
But while the prospect of claiming a scalp is certainly inviting, striker Westcarr claims players will be more focused on Saturday’s League One clash with Preston North End.
The 28-year-old is confident the Saddlers can challenge at the top end of the table this season and says they are confident of bouncing back from Saturday’s opening league defeat at Brentford.
Westcarr acknowledges tomorrow’s game will be a special occasion but says Preston is a more important game.
“The Stoke game is a nice one to have and it will be a great occasion but really we are focused on the league more than anything else,” he said.
“We know we can do something. Looking at the standard on Saturday against one of the league favourites there is definitely a chance for us.”
Westcarr has previously said the Saddlers’ small playing budget should not prevent them from challenging in the league.
And he remains in bullish mood despite Saturday’s defeat, after being unimpressed with Brentford’s style of play. He also believes the young Saddlers side have learned a great deal from the game.
“Every game is a different challenge. We now know what kind of standard we will be up against when we play teams in our league who are the so-called favourites,” he said.
“A lot of Brentford’s play was long balls straight from keeper to striker. We have no reason to fear.
“Next time we are going to know how to deal with it.
“We must start better than we did on Saturday and stop certain things.
“We have shown it in the past. We will go to the next game and put things right.”