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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

A Poor Performance - Hughes

MARK HUGHES admitted his Stoke City side got exactly what their performance deserved against Norwich.

The Potters slipped to their first home defeat of the season as a first half Jonny Howson strike settled the contest which was played out in front of the Sky cameras.

Stoke struggled to fashion opportunities in front of goal and Hughes simply could not hide his disappointment with the below-par nature of his side's display.

He told "To be honest, we didn't see that coming today because we've been really good and that's the most disappointing thing.

"We talked at the beginning of the season that on occasions there would be days when we wouldn't get it right and there would be days like we've had today.

"But there's minimum requirement in terms of what you have do in a game to affect it and that means the vast majority of your players playing at a level that allows you to compete. Unfortunately we didn't have enough players playing at the right level today.

"As a consequence Norwich played okay and got a goal in front but in fairness we didn't make it too difficult for them. It was an easy result for them which, from our point of view, is the really galling thing.

"Last time out here we were head-to-head with Manchester City and should really have won that game, so to hit those levels and then produce what we did today is a real disappointment.

"You've got to brave in possession and brave out of possession and on occasions we weren't today. 

"Many teams will try to close us down and stop us playing; if that happens you have to do other things and recognise when the momentum of the game changes and things settle down then you can start to play your football again.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get that understanding quick enough and continued to do things that encouraged Norwich more than it did us.

"We never really got any momentum or a head of steam to really ask enough questions of Norwich for a sustained period."

Stoke had appeals for a penalty ignored in the second half when Leroy Fer appeared to pull back Kenwyne Jones in the area.

Hughes added: "I didn't realise at the time but I've seen it on TV and it's a penalty but we're not going to hide behind that decision. If we're honest Norwich deserved to win today because we didn't do enough."

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