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Stoke City involved in mid-air plane scare

The Stoke City squad was involved in a mid-air drama late on Tuesday night following their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Portsmouth in the Carling Cup.

• Portsmouth 4-0 Stoke

A private plane carrying the Potters back from Fratton Park was forced to make an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport after players became concerned by a burning smell in the cabin.

The plane was diverted from its original destination of East Midlands Airport and Tony Pulis' squad landed safety at their alternative destination, from where they had to take a coach trip all the way back home to Stoke.

"Although there was no visible sign of any fire following an inspection by the airport's fire crew, the squad was forced to abandon the flight and return to Stoke by way of a long coach journey," a club statement read.

"The flight had been scheduled to land at East Midlands Airport around midnight but after a long wait in the arrivals lounge at Gatwick, the players did not begin their journey home until 1.35am.

"It was an anxious and frustrating end to a night in which the Potters had been knocked out of the Carling Cup by Pompey."

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