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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Press Conference Snippets

Mark Hughes

MH on team news…

Bruno, as we feared unfortunately, is likely to be out for quite some time. The worst case scenario is eight weeks, but we hope he will be back before then. He has really damaged the groin area. We sensed that on the day, he was in a lot of pain. He has started his treatment already, but it will be a long process. Geoff Cameron has had a full week of training and he is available. We have been cautious with him, you have to manage head injuries carefully. There is a lot of discussion surrounding concussion and long-term affects of it, so we have adhered to the protocol. Geoff has to be comfortable in his own mind too, and we have allowed him the flexibility to do that. We haven’t pushed him, we have let the injury run its course and hopefully he is over it now.

MH on Jese Rodriguez…

At the moment there is an on-going issue with his child’s health, and he won’t be available this weekend. He has had to go back home because of that, and that is worrying of course. We all send our best wishes to him and his family. The plan was to utilise him more over this period, but at the moment we aren’t quite sure when Jese will be back. He, along with Saido and Charlie Adam, are all in my thoughts.

MH on Saido Berahino…

Earlier in the season, and for the majority of the season, we played in a certain formation, which maybe didn’t benefit Saido to be perfectly honest. Along with that, when he has had opportunities maybe he hasn’t made the most of them, but he needs to be ready to come in and make the impact we know he is capable of. Peter Crouch has had to be patient, he came in made an impact and has now had a couple of starts. It is a real squad game and that rings true at this time of year. We haven’t got a squad of huge depth so we need all of our players available and training well. It is about being patient, players want to train well and have a game at the end of the week to put their work into practise, so it is difficult when you don’t have that. We have a run of games ahead of us now, which will test us, and guys, like Saido, have to be ready.

MH on the January window…

There may be opportunities to do things, and we will look to do them if we can. As we stand here and now there is nothing in the offing. I am not sure we will do significant business, but that could change if something comes up that makes sense to us.

MH on going to Wembley…

There is a perception that they haven’t done too well at Wembley, but they demolished Real Madrid not too long ago. Teams are setting their stall out this year against them and that has affected them. Whenever we went up against them we always thought it was the toughest game for us - for whatever reason they always cause us problems. We will be looking to address that, so we have to be better and be tougher to beat than we have done in the past. Some of the players from those previous matches aren’t with us anymore, we have a different make up of the squad now, we shape up differently, so those previous results won’t affect us this weekend. We just need to try and affect the game in a positive manner. A number of the guys have played at Wembley before and others haven’t but we are emphasising the fact that it is a Premier league game. I will leave the guys to decide how they approach it, as long as they aren’t out there with cameras taking photos and the like, I will leave them to deal with it how they see fit.

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