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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Hughes wants more Chelsea woe

Stoke manager Mark Hughes believes Saturday is the perfect time for his in-form side to complete a league double over Chelsea.

Last Updated: 04/04/14 at 16:37 Post Comment

Mark Hughes: Perfect time to tackle Chelsea

Mark Hughes: Perfect time to tackle Chelsea

Having beaten Chelsea 3-2 with a last-minute Oussama Assaidi winner at the Britannia Stadium in December, the Potters travel to Stamford Bridge on the back of a three-match winning run, having lost just once in nine games.

The Londoners, in contrast, lost top spot in the Premier League after their second defeat in three games - and then suffered injury-time Champions League heartache as they fell 3-1 at Paris St Germain on Wednesday.

Hughes, however, is wary of a backlash from Chelsea's star-studded squad.

"If ever there was a right time to go to a club such as Chelsea, it is when you are going there as a team in form," he said. "Our current form is arguably better than Chelsea's.

"From our point of view it is certainly the best time to be going, but what you find with top clubs is they bounce back very quickly.

"When questions are asked of them, more often than not, top teams and top players have the answers.

"We have got to be mindful of that and be ready for something of a backlash."

Stoke sit comfortably in tenth place in the league and Hughes believes his squad have improved since they lost 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fourth round in January.

He said: "We went there in the cup and we did okay up to a certain point, but we weren't able to force the issue.

"I'd like to think we can improve on that performance and ask more questions this time. We are playing better, in comparison to where we were in January.

"Going to Chelsea is never easy and Jose Mourinho's record as manager of Chelsea is absolutely unbelievable."

Hughes, in his first season with Stoke, is targeting the club's first top-half finish in the Premier League.

He said: "It would be fantastic if we were able to achieve that. It won't be easy because there are a lot of clubs around us that will have something to say about that.

"We have put ourselves in a position to be able to do it and that is all we wanted with six games to go."

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