MARK HUGHES saluted his Stoke City players’ drive and determination after they claimed a valuable away day point at Norwich, despite finishing the game with 10 men.
Jon Walters was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Alex Tettey 12 minutes from time at Carrow Road and is now facing a three-match ban.
The Republic of Ireland international had earlier cancelled out Bradley Johnson’s opener from the penalty spot after substitute John Guidetti had been brought down in the area.
And the manner in which his side kept Norwich at bay in the closing stages to secure a 1-1 draw clearly pleased Hughes.
“I thought in the first half we were the team in the ascendancy and the team that had more control of the game,” he told stokecityfc.com. “I thought we created a number of chances that, without being harsh on the guys, we should have converted at least one of them. If we had done we would have taken the game away from Norwich in my view.
“We knew there would be a reaction from Norwich in the second half but it was disappointing to concede a goal from a set-piece, although it was a decent delivery into our box and you know that if you don’t get a first contact on it there’s a likelihood you are going to concede.
“At that point we had to show some character. We changed things around a little bit, tried to freshen it up and got the penalty which Jon, as he always does, took responsibility for and dispatched with aplomb.
“I felt we could possibly have gone on and got maximum points from that point but Jon’s sending off completely changed our intention. It was always going to be difficult for us but we showed a lot of character and determination, all the traits that you need to show when you are down to 10 men.”
Hughes reviewed Walters’ sending-off on DVD before speaking to the media, adding: “I’ve looked at it and there is contact. Jon has accepted that he did catch him but I think the ball was bouncing between two players that had their feet high.
“I just think on this occasion the punishment is a little harsh for the crime – we’re looking at Jon missing three games for that. It’s deemed as serious foul play but I just think it’s one of those challenges in games where it’s a matter of millimetres between contact being made and not made.”