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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes Hoping To Step It Up

MARK HUGHES is hoping to see progression from his players when they undertake their second friendly game in the United States against FC Dallas on Saturday evening.

The Potters come into the game in Texas on the back of a 2-0 reverse against two-time MLS Cup winners Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Hughes took a number of positives away from that game despite the result, but acknowledges that he wants to see further improvement in other areas when his side take to the field at the FC Dallas Stadium.

"I think we can look back at the Houston game and say that it was a very worthwhile exercise for us, in terms of putting one or two things from training into practice and of course, building up the levels of fitness of the lads," he said.

"It was incredibly difficult conditions to play in and I think that the blood was boiling inside the players, it really was that hot. When we left the UK it was something like 64 degrees and when we took to the field it was over 100. 

"Those things do have an impact, but even with that I still saw a lot of positives. We controlled the game I thought, kept hold of the ball well, but maybe lacked that cutting edge up top to really cause them problems."

He added: "That is something that we will be looking to improve upon against Dallas. We want to have the key to open the doors and see if we can score some goals."

The City boss will have to do without former FC Dallas winger Brek Shea on Saturday, after he and his United States teammates secured a passage through to Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup Final with a 3-1 victory over Honduras.

"It's disappointing not to have him here from my point of view because we want to get him in the group and see him in action," he added.

"I'm sure the fans here in Dallas would have liked to have welcomed him back to the Club too, obviously because of his connections here.

"It is what it is though, and we have to accept it. The good thing is that he is training and playing competitive games so when he does join up with us he should be right up to speed and ready to go."

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