Delap’s debt to ex-Sunderland boss

Stoke City's Rory Delap (centre, right) celebrates with his team mates after he scored the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 28, 2011. See PA story SOCCER Stoke. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. 'RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial print use only except with prior written approval. New media use requires licence from Football DataCo Ltd. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions for full restrictions.
Stoke City's Rory Delap (centre, right) celebrates with his team mates after he scored the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 28, 2011. See PA story SOCCER Stoke. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. 'RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial print use only except with prior written approval. New media use requires licence from Football DataCo Ltd. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions for full restrictions.
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STOKE midfielder Rory Delap will show no sentiment towards Wolves manager Mick McCarthy despite the debt of gratitude he owes to him.

McCarthy gave long-throw specialist Delap his international debut when Republic of Ireland manager in 1998.

Then eight years later McCarthy was boss of Sunderland when he signed Delap from Southampton.

Stoke will push Wolves nearer to relegation from the Barclays Premier League if they win tonight's re-arranged clash.

But all Delap is focused on is lifting the Potters past the 40-point mark and towards safety.

Delap said: "I've got a lot of time for Mick but he knows what football is all about.

"He is a great manager and I appreciate what he has done for my career.

"But there is no sentiment in football when it comes to situations like this and he will be exactly the same."

Delap believes one more win could prove sufficient to guarantee a fourth successive season of top- flight football for Stoke.

He said: "We all know what we've got to do. We are still not safe.

"The way things are going, it looks like it is going to be 42-43 points to be safe.

"Since we've come into the Premier League, we've wanted to try and progress every year."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis is adamant Stoke becoming established as a Premier League club is more important than possible FA Cup glory next month.

He said: "We are absolutely delighted that we've got to an FA Cup final. It's an absolutely brilliant achievement by the club.

"But the priority will always be the Premier League.

"That's where we want to play and, the longer we are in the Premier League, the club will grow because it will give us the finances to make it a stronger club.

"We are in the black, we have just built a brand new training ground, we are investing into other areas of the football club we would have never dreamt of if we hadn't got into the Premier League.

"The Premier League is the food and drink and the icing on the cake is the cup competitions.

"We have five more games to go and we've said all along we have to try to get as many points as we can from the games left."