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Hughes Left Disappointed

Manager Mark Hughes

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18:25 16th August 2014

Potters begin season with defeat...

POTTERS manager Mark Hughes was left disappointed following City’s opening day defeat to Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Andreas Weimann scored the only goal of the game early on in the second half as Stoke struggled to break down their Midlands neighbours in a lively encounter in the Potteries.

Phil Bardsley came closest to breaking the deadlock on his Potters debut when his effort was thwarted by Villans goalkeeper Brad Guzan late in the first half.

Hughes was quick to praise Paul Lambert’s side but admits it was not the Potters’ day and says he is already looking ahead to next weekend’s fixture away at Hull City.

“In all honesty it was a poor result and a poor performance,” he said to Stoke City Player.

“I thought we did ok in the first half, we had a number of chances which we couldn’t quite convert.

“We were very much in the game coming in at the break, but we conceded almost immediately in the second half and that really played into Villa’s hands.

“We didn’t have that creativity or ability to keep hold of the ball when we went behind and that’s when the game fell in their favour.

“We need to get this result out of our system and it’s good that it has come at this time of the season. It’s a wake-up call and we will pick ourselves up because we can perform a lot better than we did today.

“I thought we were unfortunate, particularly in the first half, where we didn’t take advantage of our possession and creativity, so credit to Villa, they came here with a game plan and they executed it very well and we found it difficult today.

Hughes gave home debuts to new signings Bojan, Mame Diouf and Phil Bardsley while Geoff Cameron and Peter Odemwingie were notable absentees from the manager’s 18-man squad.

The duo were given extra time off after their efforts at this summer’s World Cup and the Welshman explained the pair were left out as a precaution due to their lack of match action in the last few weeks.

“We’re trying to protect them somewhat because they haven’t had a great deal of time with the group after playing in the World Cup,” he said.

“They’re both a few weeks away, so it’s important we don’t push them too much or we could lose them for a longer period if they get injured.

“The hope is that they should be good to go by the middle of the week or at the latest next weekend.”

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