0

Image result for Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes And The Management Team Still Have Our Full Support - Stoke Chairman

Stoke City are refusing to panic over their alarming start to the season and have offered their full support to manager Mark Hughes.

After four defeats in the opening five Premier League games, Stoke are bottom of the table and in his three years at the club Hughes is facing the first real signs of mutiny from supporters.

Since their Capital One semi-final defeat by Liverpool on Jan 26, Stoke have won only five league games and suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday to leave Hughes as the new favourite with some bookmakers to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season.

But Stoke have been notoriously slow starters under Hughes, who was appointed in May 2013, and have still finished ninth three times in a row. Last season they failed to win any of their first six games but then won five of the next seven.

Hughes was yesterday fined £8,000 by the Football Association after accepting a misconduct charge for being sent to the stand at the bet365 Stadium during the first half of the 4-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Sept 10. 

However, ahead of Saturday’s visit of former manager Tony Pulis’s West Bromwich Albion, the Stoke chairman Peter Coates has insisted that Hughes will turn their form around.

We are obviously disappointed with the start we’ve made but Mark and the management team have our full support, Coates told Telegraph Sport. He is a very experienced manager and knows what it takes to get results in the Premier League.

It’s still very early in the season and while these results obviously can’t go on forever, we’re convinced that things will change.

Stoke's heavy 4-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday means they have already conceded 14 goals in the league and Ryan Shawcross, the club captain, has admitted Hughes read the riot act in the dressing room after the game at Selhurst Park.

He was very angry, it was not a nice dressing room when you lose by four again. He has told us in no uncertain terms it is not on and it has got to change and there are a lot of places up for grabs, he said.

Obviously when you are conceding so many goals the confidence throughout the team is not great, Shawcross added. 

But it is the same team that finished ninth last year and ninth the year before. We need to have a long hard look at ourselves and come out fighting and get some points on the table.

Hughes’s problems have also increased because of injuries to key personnel including England goalkeeper Jack Butland, who is not expected to return for six weeks after an operation on a persistent ankle problem.

Xherdan Shaqiri, the £12 million Switzerland international, and influential midfielder Ibrahim Afellay have also been injured to reduce Stoke’s options.

Similarly, refereeing decisions have gone against Hughes and his players, with a contentious penalty call for a shirt pull by Shawcross on Nicolás Otamendi in the 4-1 home loss to Manchester City

Their 1-0 defeat at Everton also included a controversial penalty decision for Phil Bardsley’s trip of Ashley Williams. Meanwhile, Hughes was sent to the stands against Spurs game for venturing outside his technical area and directing some of his anger at fourth official Jon Moss after reacting to two incidents late in the first half – a booking for Marko Arnautovic and what he thought was a foul on Jon Walters.

A statement from the FA issued on Monday said: Mark Hughes has been fined £8,000 after he accepted the standard punishment following his FA misconduct charge.

Source: Telegraph





 

Post a Comment

 
Top