Stoke City manager Mark Hughes
Image by: Phil Greig
15:10 4th January 2016
Gaffer challenges his players to bounce straight back from Hawthorns defeat...
MARK HUGHES has told his players to use Saturday’s disappointing defeat at the Hawthorns to their advantage when they tackle Liverpool in the first leg of their Capital One Cup Semi-Final.
The Potters play host to Jurgen Klopp’s side in front of the live television cameras on Tuesday evening before travelling to Anfield for the second part of the hotly-anticipated double header later in the month.
The Welshman cut a frustrated figure following the Potters’ lacklustre performance against West Brom at the weekend, and has since challenged them to take out their frustration on the Reds, and put themselves in the best possible position ahead of their trip to Merseyside.
“We were frustrated by the result and by what we produced at the weekend,” he told the media during Monday afternoon’s pre-match press briefing.
“We went into the game in really good form but we just dipped below what we know we are capable of on the day, which disappointed us.
“We can’t be too disappointed though, because looking at things in perspective those lads produced two superb performances in a matter of days against Manchester United and Everton and picked up six points.
“For us, I would suggest that this is a good time to be playing Liverpool at home because we are looking for a major reaction, and more often than not, on the back of disappointing performances, we bounce back strongly.
“We are the home team tomorrow and when everything clicks into gear, at home, we have shown that we can cause any team in the country big problems.”
He added: “The important thing for us is to make sure we are still well in the tie going into the second leg, and then see where it takes us. We are very much enjoying the anticipation heading into the game.”