London: Stoke City manager Mark Hughes will return to Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, hoping to go one step further in the competition than he did with his former employers.
The 51-year-old Hughes enjoyed a productive spell as Blackburn boss from 2004-2008 and led the club to the FA Cup semi-final in 2007 before taking charge of Manchester City.
"When I was there we had a chance to beat Chelsea in the semi-final in 2007," Hughes, whose Blackburn side lost 2-1 to the Londoners in extra time, told a news conference on Friday.
"We also got to the semi-final of the League Cup too, but came up against Manchester United.
"We always seemed to play one of the big, big sides at the last four stage which was frustrating.
"I had a great time at Blackburn and it was a shame to see them slip out of the Premier League. Thankfully now Gary Bowyer looks like he is turning it around and that`s great.
After Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Manchester City were dumped out of the FA Cup fourth round by lower league sides, this year`s competition could see a new name engraved on the famous trophy.
With six-times winners Blackburn the next obstacle for Stoke to hurdle in their quest for a first FA Cup title, Hughes does not want his players to lose focus against the second tier side.
"I`ve always prioritised cup games. We are in three competitions and there are two we can realistically win -- the FA Cup and the League Cup," Hughes said.
"If we can overcome Blackburn we can start getting excited but first and foremost we have to overcome a good Championship side who will raise their game.
"The fans are obviously excited, so we are giving the fixture the respect it deserves."