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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes Gets His Satisfaction


MARK HUGHES says he is satisfied with this weekend's games following away draws against Burton Albion and Blackburn Rovers.

The 50-year-old was able to give all but one of his first-team squad game time against the two Football League clubs, as well as take a closer look at a number of young players.

Following Sunday's pre-season friendly at Ewood Park, the former Rovers boss told Stoke City Player that the fixtures had proved beneficial to a number of his squad.

"We always knew it was going to be a difficult weekend in terms of organisation and making sure we got what we wanted out of the two games but we've covered all bases so we are reasonably happy with the way it went," Hughes said.

"It was important that players like Geoff Cameron and Wilson Palacios, as well as Steven Sidwell, who missed out a bit whilst we were out in Germany, got some minutes under their belts.

"I'm pleased with the amount of time each player has had and the vast majority have played a full game at one point or another so we will now look to bed in the team I envisage will start against Aston Villa.

"From now to the beginning of the season it's about the finer details and ensuring our preparations are right in regards to looking at the opposition because they are things you need to prepare for going into the first game of the season."

The Potters host Real Betis at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday evening before flying out to Germany to face Bundesliga outfit Freiberg on Saturday and Hughes admits he has been pleased with the pre-season schedule so far as his squad continue to build towards the start of the new Premier League season on Saturday, August 16th.

"It was a good test today as it will be with the two remaining games but that is what we need," he said.

"Ideally you want to build upon the quality of opposition you face throughout pre-season and I've been pleased with the games we've been able to have by this stage and the ones still to come.

"We've got two good quality games coming up next week which will help us to prepare but we are in a good place at the moment."

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