Hughes: There’s too much negativity at Stoke

Date published: Thursday 4th January 2018 6:18

Mark Hughes sought no assurances over his future at a meeting with Stoke chiefs on Thursday and remains confident he can turn the club’s fortunes around.

The Potters have slipped into the Premier League’s bottom three after a seven-game run featuring only one win and five defeats.

Recent reports have claimed that Stoke are considering Hughes’ future but it was not a subject on the agenda of a scheduled meeting between the manager, chairman Peter Coates, vice-chairman John Coates and chief executive Tony Scholes.

Asked if he had requested backing in the wake of media reports, Hughes said: “Why would I seek it? I don’t need it.

“From my point of view, it’s business as usual. I didn’t attempt to ask the owners about my future. I went there with the sole purpose of getting an understanding of what we’re doing in January and that’s what I got. It was a good meeting and one we can move forward from.

“I don’t know what they are thinking. Maybe you guys are suggesting we are in a different moment, a different place now, but in terms of the communication I have with the owners and they have with me, that hasn’t changed.”

The Coates family are renowned for sticking with managers and Hughes sees no reason to doubt that his understanding of the situation is genuine.

“I would be disappointed if they weren’t up front and honest,” he said. “That’s the type of people they are.

“It’s a difficult situation for everybody but they don’t want their team to fail, they don’t want their appointments to fail. They back good people with ability and let them get on with the job and that’s what they’ve always done here.”

The perceived pressure on Hughes ramped up this week when he named a weakened side against Chelsea, resulting in a 5-0 loss, with the intention of claiming a vital win against Newcastle only for the Magpies to emerge as 1-0 victors.

Stoke now face a trip to face Sky Bet League Two side Coventry in the FA Cup on Saturday before travelling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League.

Hughes remains bullish about his ability to ride the storm, saying: “I can be hit over the head with results and stats, which is what happens, but there’s reasons and we can address all of them for the most part.

“Other areas and other reasons need to be looked at so we can be stronger in the second half so that’s what we’ll try and do.

“Yes, there will be a little bit of pressure but I’ve been at it for a long time, seen most things, experienced these periods before and come out really strongly on the other side, and that’s our intention this time.”

Hughes has been greeted with jeers from Stoke supporters and banners calling for his head at recent matches.

He understands the disappointment but believes some fans have been keen to stick the knife in since the beginning of the season.

He said: “There’s a little bit too much negativity in my view. It’s not gone away as readily as it should have done on occasions, it’s still been in the background just waiting to come out again and unfortunately last weekend we allowed it to come out.

“I don’t think it’s a huge disconnect with everybody. I don’t think everybody wants us to fail. Surely if you are a Stoke supporter you don’t want your club to struggle.

“They should take comfort from the fact there’s good people working on the club’s behalf.”

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