MARK HUGHES declared himself pleased by Stoke’s performance in the goalless draw at Hull on Saturday night after his side maintained an impressive run of form that has now seen them beaten just once in eight games.
The Potters were full value for the point they claimed from their trip to the KC Stadium, as a much-improved second half showing was unfortunate not to be rewarded with maximum points
On-loan Aston Villa star Stephen Ireland had an effort ruled out for offside, whilst Peter Crouch twice went close to breaking the deadlock as Hughes’ side penned the hosts back for large periods of the second 45 minutes.
“In terms of control of the game I thought that we were the team that demonstrated more willingness to look for the openings to try and win the game after the interval,” the Welshman said.
“In terms of clear-cut chances, we had the better of those as well, and we just needed to take one of them, which in my mind would have been enough for us to have won the game.
“As it was, I am pleased enough with the performance. Any point away from home is gladly received.
“I think that is one defeat in eight games now, so we are progressing well and I feel we are moving forward all of the time."
The 50-year-old reserved special praise for his attacking players, despite their failure to net what would have been a decisive goal in Humberside.
“We are a strong side, and we have players who are being asked to attack throughout the game, so it wasn’t a surprising to see us dominate the second half.
“The likes of Marko (Arnautovic), Ozzi (Oussama Assaidi) and Peter (Crouch), who I thought was great, led the line exceptionally well today.
“Stephen Ireland also showed great willingness to get into the box and to try and make things happen, so we have good ability in the team.
“We just need to learn to take games away from teams because I think we have struggled in doing that on occasions – we just lack that little bit of cutting edge."
He added: “You could see good passages of play today though, and they all linked up really well at times. I am pleased with the performance and we go into Wednesday’s game in a good frame of mind.”