Hughes unhappy with the first half performance

Stoke coach Mark Hughes was disappointed with his side’s loss against Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries picked up an early two-goal lead and the hosts were not able to respond properly.

Athough Stoke improved after the break, they scored just one goal thanks to Mame Biram Diouf and they suffered a fifth defeat in their last six outings in all competitions. Hughes doesn’t think that the performance of his players was still affected by the huge 7-2 loss to Manchester City.

The Stoke tactician blamed mostly the first half performance, according to Goal“We didn’t cope with the conditions too well in the first half. We made a couple of mistakes, including giving away a penalty almost immediately after they’d scored the opening goal. They moved the ball, as they do, quite quickly, so it was hard to get any momentum.”

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He praised his team for a late effort to equalize the game: “Obviously the conditions favoured them. We were trying to get out but it was difficult to progress up the field. In the second half, with the wind at our backs, we were better. We got some decent balls into good areas but couldn’t find the final touches we needed.”

Hughes also mentioned the fact that Bournemouth made the game even more difficult in the second half but he didn’t blame them for it: “Bournemouth, who did exactly the same last year, killed the game and wasted time. Unfortunately, when you go behind, that’s the difficult thing. As an away team, why wouldn’t they do that?”

He remains positive before the upcoming fixture against Watford but he knows Stoke desperately need to win: “We will have to be better next week. Watford are playing well, so it’s another challenge. We just have to pick ourselves up and go again.”

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