MARK HUGHES had few complaints after his hopes of taking Stoke City all the way to the Capital One Cup Final were ended by Manchester United on a night of freak conditions at the Britannia Stadium.
United emerged from the wind, rain and hail with a 2-0 win and a place in the Semi-Finals where they will meet Sunderland, thanks to second half goals from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra.
Stoke struggled to fashion clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities and to make matters worse lost the services of skipper Ryan Shawcross through injury in the second half.
Hughes told stokecityfc.com: “I thought we did okay up until a point but I’ve no complaints about the scoreline. The conditions were far from ideal in the first half, all the elements were against us.
“I thought we were good in the first half, kept our shape and didn’t allow United any real opportunities. We looked nice and solid and we were causing them a problem going the other way as well.
“We thought we were going to get the benefit of the elements in the second half but unfortunately, the storm blew itself out and it became quite a benign evening. That’s a little bit of luck that went against us.
“I thought we were still in the game up to the first goal but we all know goals change games and United at that point could just soak up pressure. We had to try and force things but they are very adept on the break and in the end they took the game away from us.
“We were a little bit disorganised on the second goal because we were still coming to terms with losing Ryan. The second goal was poor from our point of view.
“We just didn’t have quite enough this evening to take a good United team on.”
Shawcross limped out of the action with a groin problem and must be a doubt for Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium.
Hughes revealed: “We won’t know the extent of it until tomorrow but we can ill afford to be without another central defender with Robert Huth out at the moment.”
The elements played their part in the contest with referee Mark Clattenburg suspending play for almost 10 minutes in the first half due to a hail storm.
Hughes added: “Mark was saying he couldn’t see anything to make a decision and you have to accept that. I’ve not been involved in a game where you have to go off and come back on; it was a first for me but on the basis of what the referee was saying you have to accept that he was right.”