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Press Conference Snippets

Mark Hughes

Image by: Phil Greig

PUBLISHED

14:24 2nd May 2014

A selection of quotes from Mark Hughes' pre-match press conference...

on the availability of his squad…

“Ozzie Assaidi has taken a knock to his knee in training which is disappointing. We aren't sure how bad it is, so we will look at him again tomorrow morning and then decide whether he is able to feature in some capacity. Obviously, Ryan is missing through suspension, but we do have a couple of options available to us in his absence.”

on media speculation linking the Club with a number of players…

“I think agents are putting their players names out there to drum up a bit of business. Ideally we would like to get our work concluded earlier in the window so that we can come back and work with any new acquisitions we manage to bring in. We have to be mindful of the fact that it is a World Cup year however, and a lot of players, and agents for that matter, may take their time to see what occurs after the tournament has finished.”

on the possibility of signing Oussama Assaidi permanently…

“We really like Oussama. He has had a very good time here and he has mixed with the lads really well. He is incredibly close to a number of the other lads, including Marko Arnautovic - they make a nice couple. That can come into the equation when you look to complete a permanent deal for somebody. We would like to do something with him in the summer, but we will have to wait and see how it pans out.”

on his decision to leave Fulham earlier in his managerial career…

“At the time I felt I couldn't commit to a further three years. I was aware there was going to be a change of ownership, which had affected my time at Manchester City. It was an ageing side which in my opinion needed serious investment. That said, I have a lot of time for Fulham. We were eighth in the top flight which is the second highest finish in the club's history I believe. I had a good time there and still have a lot of time for a lot of people at the club.”

confirming there will be absolutely no split loyalties…

“My focus is solely on Stoke City now and my only focus is on leading this Club into the top ten and hopefully picking up more Premier League points than we ever have before. If we win, regardless of the game being against my former side, I will celebrate it in my usual manner.”

on the season so far…

At the start of the season, a lot of people were questioning whether we could stay in the league. We hadn't spent a lot in the summer, more due to the fact that the players we wanted weren't available to us. Because of that, some people may have pointed to a lack of goals in the team, but thankfully we have been able to address that and stay up relatively comfortably. We are here now with two games of the season to go with a real opportunity of ending the season on a spectacular high. We are in a great position, but we know there is still a lot of work to do.”

on the absence of his skipper, Ryan Shawcross…

“Having lost Robert Huth early in the season, Ryan has had to show a great level of leadership. Maybe in a strange way losing Rob has helped Ryan to grow as a captain. Losing Rob was a big blow to us all and we've really missed him on occasions but Ryan and Marc have played well to fill that hole. We will miss Ryan tomorrow too, because he is a real leader and it would have been nice to have seen him play in every minute of every game. Unfortunately that wasn't meant to be.”

on Matthew Etherington’s Britannia Stadium swansong…

“I'm conscious of the fact that Matty Etherington has played a huge part in the recent success at the Club, and of course, it would be fitting to give him the send-off he deserves in front of the supporters. He hasn't been training a lot recently, but we will try and get him involved in some capacity though. I think he deserves that.”

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