Hughes: Liverpool game tough

Mark Hughes insists he is unsurprised at Liverpool's progress this season, claiming their quality was evident when they beat Stoke in the opening game of the season.

Last Updated: 12/01/14 at 15:28 Post Comment

Simon Mignolet: His penalty save denied Stoke a point on the opening day of the

Simon Mignolet: His penalty save denied Stoke a point on the opening day of the

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saved a late Jonathan Walters penalty to deny Stoke what would have been a very creditable draw at Anfield in August.

But Hughes revealed that everyone at the club could see even at that early stage that Liverpool could potentially be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League this year.

"My memory of the Liverpool game is that we acquitted ourselves really well and made a good impression, but it's fair to say at the time we recognised Liverpool were going to have a really good season," he said.

"We were very much in that game and had an opportunity to take something out of the game, but unfortunately Jon missed the penalty. We discussed it immediately after the game and everyone - players and staff - thought Liverpool looked in really good nick.

"They were always likely to have a good season by virtue of their movement and their technical ability.

"So the progress they have made really hasn't surprised anybody here because we saw the evidence in the first game of the season."

Steven Gerrard is likely to make a return to Liverpool's Premier League starting line-up after making an earlier-than-expected return from a hamstring injury against Oldham in the FA Cup last weekend.

Daniel Sturridge could also return after being sidelined by an ankle injury, and Hughes says his Stoke side are relishing the prospect of trying to stifle the attacking threat posed by the trio.

"If you add those two players to the quality Liverpool have in Suarez and they're outstanding," said Hughes.

"Suarez is playing on a different level to most strikers in the Premier League - I noted he has won player of the month and that doesn't surprise anybody given the quality of his performances.

"But when you add another two players of the calibre of Sturridge and Gerrard, it's a a heady mix; you know you're up against a quality side.

"But we've shown we have the capability of matching the top teams in the league, which Liverpool undoubtedly are this year.

"We've beaten Chelsea and had good draws versus Manchester City and Everton.

"We're not fazed going up against the top sides in the division, we're in good form ourselves and we look forward to it."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Stuart McCall disappointed by slack Rangers in Motherwell defeat

Stuart McCall says Rangers gave their poorest performance under him as they lost their play-off tie against Motherwell

Chris Coleman hopeful Wales will not lost points from Israel win

Wales manager Chris Coleman fears his side would be badly affected if they lose points from their European Qualifier against Israel.

Manchester City's clash with Houston Dynamo called off

Manchester City's friendly against the Houston Dynamo has been cancelled due to an unplayable pitch at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Texas.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company