MARK HUGHES has hailed the Potters tour of southern Germany as a huge success despite ending their 12-day stay in the country with a narrow 2-1 defeat against Bundesliga side Schalke 04 on Tuesday evening.
Bojan’s stunning maiden strike for the Club had seemingly put Mark Hughes’ side on course for their first pre-season victory, before second-half efforts from Joel Matip and Tranquillo Barnetta ensured a comeback victory for the Champions League side.
Whilst acknowledging that he was somewhat disappointed not to have picked up a more favourable result against the Gelsenkirchen based outfit, the Welshman declared himself pleased by the showing of his side in both this game, and throughout the duration of their stay in Reit im Winkl.
“I really enjoyed the game and thought we produced a very pleasing performance against good opposition. The pitch helped tonight, because I thought a few days ago it compromised our performance somewhat,” he told Stoke City Player.
“We got the ball down and knocked it around really well. I thought the control of the game was ours for long periods – in terms of possession and controlling the tempo of the game.
“We were very dangerous on the break tonight, and we broke forward with real purpose on a number of occasions. We probably lacked that cutting edge which would have enabled to us to have taken the game away from them, but there are still lots of reasons to feel encouraged.
“With a bit of luck we could have scored a few more goals – we missed a penalty, had one disallowed which was dubious and managed to get in really good areas but just weren’t able to deliver that killer blow to them.”
He added: “I think the whole trip has been valuable to us to be perfectly honest. The lads have obviously gained from playing good matches, and a few of them have come through 90 minutes which is a big positive for us, especially at the stage we are at right now.”