McCullough’s sights on Stoke City scalp in cup

Portadown-born Luke McCullough training with Northern Ireland. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown-born Luke McCullough training with Northern Ireland. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown-born Luke McCullough took another significant step towards the EURO 2016 finals on Saturday.

However, the defender is setting aside summer plans in pursuit of club commitments - with his immediate focus on the FA Cup and Stoke City.

McCullough was handed a return to the Doncaster Rovers starting line-up last weekend and played the full fixture in a 3-0 success over Southend United.

Now he has his sights set on Premier League side Stoke City and the chance to help third-tier Rovers claim a memorable cup scalp.

“It’s obviously a big game for the club, especially at home,” said McCullough. “There is no real pressure on us so we can go into the match aiming to pull off a surprise.

“Stoke have been in great form and produced some impressive results, especially thanks to those attacking players such as Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay.

“I’m just concentrating on doing my best for Doncaster and playing as much as possible, then hopefully the Northern Ireland situation will take care of itself for France and the European Championships.”

The FA Cup has provided McCullough with one his career highlights to date in Doncaster colours - an appearance on the scoresheet last January against Bristol City.

“It is my only senior Doncaster goal,” said McCullough. “It was great to be involved in a win last weekend and I enjoyed getting plenty of the ball as part of the back three.”