STOKE CITY manager Mark Hughes spoke of his ‘immense pride’ after his side recorded their first Premier League victory of the campaign in stunning style at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Mame Diouf’s sensational maiden goal for the Club stunned the reigning Premier League champions and inflicted only a second home league defeat upon current Citizens boss Manuel Pellegrini.
The historic triumph capped off a superb seven days for the Club, building upon last Sunday’s 1-1 draw away at Hull City and the emphatic midweek victory over League Two outfit Portsmouth in the Capital One Cup.
Speaking to Stoke City Player following the game, Hughes was full of praise for his players, and highlighted the additional qualities in his side as the difference between victory this term and a narrow defeat twelve months earlier.
“I really enjoyed it, and obviously like every other person here connected to the Club, I am exceptionally proud today,” smiled the Welshman, who spent 18 months in charge at the Etihad Stadium earlier in his career.
“In terms of a performance you want to see guys committed to what they are trying to do and refuse to be beaten which is what we found today.
“We were excellent. You have to come to places like this and put in a performance of that level because if you don’t then you will get beat.
“Even though we played well here last season and frustrated them for long periods we couldn’t keep them out, however the difference this season is that we have a threat on the break and can carry it going the other way.”
He added: “We didn’t have that to an extent last season because of the players who were at the club but we are delighted that Mame Diouf has come in and made an impact.”
Diouf, who was long courted by Hughes prior to his arrival from German Bundesliga side Hannover 96 earlier in the summer, impressed throughout the game, producing undoubtedly his most accomplished 90 minutes of action.
“He has applied himself really well in the game. You can see what sort of player he is by his performance today,” added the City boss.
“He works really hard for the team which is what we need but he’s obviously a striker and wants to score goals, which he has been able to do today which we are all delighted about.
“It was an outstanding goal and at first I didn’t realise how deep inside his own half he was but fair play to him when he picked the ball up on edge-of-the-area and kept on going.
“Thankfully he’s got enough power in his shot at the end of his run which has gone through Joe Hart.
“I’m pleased for him and all of the Stoke supporters behind the goal where he scored who I hope enjoyed it.”