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Hughes backs players to recover

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has urged his players to channel their anger into Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Tottenham.

Last Updated: 27/12/13 at 22:45 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Mark Hughes: Moving on from Newcastle defeat

Mark Hughes: Moving on from Newcastle defeat

The Potters' four-game unbeaten league run came to a spectacular conclusion at Newcastle on Boxing Day when virtually everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong as they slipped to a 5-1 defeat.

Hughes saw his side controversially reduced to nine men and concede two penalties as the Magpies enjoyed rather better fortunes at St James' Park.

The 50-year-old was subsequently charged with improper conduct by the Football Association on Friday following his touchline dismissal during the match.

In the circumstances, Hughes is confident the reaction to a difficult day on Tyneside will be positive rather than negative as his players attempt to make Spurs pay for it.

Asked if there was a risk they would be demoralised, he said: "No, absolutely not. I think the events up there will bring us closer together, to be perfectly honest.

"When you feel aggrieved, you pick yourselves up and go again. That's the type of attitude I have from this group, so we are looking forward to Sunday now.

"We have got to move on. We have got a big game on Sunday. We have got to get the group together, understand who we have got available and make sure we are ready for Sunday."

Hughes was able to take some solace from his trip to the north east with Stoke having enjoyed the better of the game until the wheels came off.

They led deservedly through Oussama Assaidi's excellent 29th-minute strike, and the locals were distinctly unhappy as half-time approached.

However, the untimely departures of midfielder Glenn Whelan and defender Marc Wilson inside three catastrophic minutes towards the end of the first half set the stage for Newcastle to cruise to victory despite Thomas Sorensen's penalty save from Loic Remy.

Hughes, who was sent to the stands for his furious reaction to Whelan's demise, was unhappy with both of his yellow cards and Wilson's straight red for pulling back Remy inside the penalty area.

His mood was not improved by a handball by Magpies defender Mike Williamson which went unpunished in the run-up to Remy's 44th-minute equaliser, and the fact that Hatem Ben Arfa appeared to run the ball out of play before crossing for Yoan Gouffran to make it 2-1.

But the Welshman was at least able to console himself with his side's start to the game, and is hopeful that the way events unfolded in such sickening style can be put to one side quickly.

Hughes said: "In different circumstances, if we were well beaten and we had performed poorly, then you hold your hands up and you worry that maybe your confidence has been affected.

"But it won't be affected by the events up there. We are playing with confidence. We have been on a good run - one defeat in eight games - and I think we showed that, in the initial period, certainly."

Whelan and Wilson will both be suspended for the trip to White Hart Lane, and they will be joined on the sidelines by first-choice keeper Asmir Begovic.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international broke a finger in training on Christmas Day and is set to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

Thomas Sorensen took over on Tyneside, but England keeper Jack Butland has returned from his loan spell at Barnsley and the pair will battle it out for the right to deputise.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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