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Proud Of Players' Efforts - Hughes

Manager Mark Hughes

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PUBLISHED

18:40 22nd February 2014

Mark Hughes reacts to the narrow defeat at Manchester City

MARK HUGHES says he’s proud of his players’ performance in this afternoon's narrow 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Four of Stoke’s previous five league visits to the Etihad Stadium have resulted in 3-0 defeats, with many outsiders predicting a similar outcome this time around.

But well planned out tactics, along with the arguable fatigue of the Manchester City players following their midweek defeat to Barcelona, ensured the Potters kept the game tight and were always in with a chance of picking up a positive result.

“We had a good game plan and the lads committed well to it,” Hughes told Stoke City Player.

“We restricted them and they never had a great deal of momentum in terms of shots and having chance after chance.

“I thought that we coped very well with them, particularly in the first half, and I thought that we had a threat going the other way as well.

“Obviously in the second half you expect them to come at you and they penned us in a little bit more than we would have liked but even then we were still reasonably comfortable for the most part.”

The Potters put in their best league performance at the Etihad to date, but suffered defeat after a lapse in concentration allowed Yaya Toure to grab the only goal of the game.

The midfielder’s strike after 70 minutes earned all three points for the hosts, a goal which meant Hughes’ unbeaten run also ended after three games.

“We talk about wide areas and stopping crosses coming into the box so the goal is disappointing”, added Hughes.

“We allowed the cross to come in and we didn't track the runner into the box either.

“Invariably that leads to conceding goals and unfortunately it happened on this occasion.

“Apart from that I thought we were really good defensively; our mindset was good about being here to get something.

“We've played a Manchester City side who are the most free-scoring team in the Premier League and over the two games that we've played them we've restricted them to just one goal.

“There are lots of positives to be taken, as other teams haven't managed to do that, but ultimately there are no points on the board today so we're disappointed.”

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