Hughes dishes out blame for handshake-gate

Date published: Friday 15th September 2017 12:00

Manchester United’s press department was to blame for exacerbating the non-handshake spat, according to Mark Hughes.

Jose Mourinho and Hughes failed to shake hands after last weekend’s 2-2 draw at the Bet365 Stadium and the Potters boss was asked about the incident again today.

And Hughes suggested that United’s PR machine made the situation worse.

“Handshakes are neither here nor there,” Hughes said today with a grin on his face.

“We should move on. Maybe after the game the media department at Man United switched on to full mode and got involved and didn’t do Jose any favours, to be perfectly honest.”

In a second interview Hughes was asked to expand on his comments and told the Stoke Sentinel: “I don’t need to comment on it much more. Too much was highlighted after the game by their media department with a view to maybe cementing Jose’s position. But I think they did him a disservice really.

“Yes, I was showing emotion. Jose was showing emotion. The cameras are on you. Truth be known, we are part of the show aren’t we?

“It is what it is. As long as it doesn’t step over the line, which I didn’t think it did at the weekend. It was neither here nor there. We have all moved on, it was something and nothing.”

After the game Mourinho was dismissive of what he perceived to be defensive tactics from the Potters in the draw – a claim Hughes refuted – and at one point during the game the Portuguese was pushed by his counterpart when he entered his technical area.

There was then no handshake after the final whistle, a custom Hughes has previously been snubbed for by the likes of Tony Pulis and Arsene Wenger, and the Potters boss accused Mourinho of taking the result poorly.

“I pushed him because he was in my technical area,” Hughes explained.

“Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to shake my hand. Maybe it’s because it has to be viewed as a negative result for him, coming to Stoke when everybody expected them to beat us.

“It’s a negative. Sometimes managers of top-six clubs don’t take negative results too kindly. Sometimes, because they’re not used to having to take negative results, sometimes they react in the wrong way. Maybe he reacted in the wrong way.

“In fairness, I’ve got history with non-handshakes so maybe it’s me! Who knows?”

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