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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Promising Early Signs


MARK HUGHES is confident Stoke City new boys Erik Pieters and Marc Muniesa will have no problems settling into life in English football.

The pair met their new team-mates for the first time on Monday when the Potters squad reported back to Clayton Wood for the start of pre-season.

Pieters, a €3.6million signing from PSV Eindhoven, and Muniesa, who joined the Club on a free transfer after being released by Barcelona, are adjusting to their new surroundings, rather like Hughes and his backroom staff.

The manager said: "In fairness to Erik and Marc, they were in the same situation as myself and my staff when everyone reported back.

"They've gone into a new dressing room and it will take time to get to know everybody.

"But even from the first training session, you could see that they are players with good technical ability and, invariably, the group will embrace them if they are going to help them win football matches, which I think both Erik and Marc will do."

Stoke will step-up their pre-season preparations today when they fly to France for a five-day stay at a training camp, which will give Hughes and his staff opportunity to get to know their new charges.

Although it's still very much early days, Hughes is already looking forward to the future with enormous optimism, declaring: "I think it's an exciting time for the Club. Everyone is of the view that this season is going to be really different.

"I hope we're going to give the fans as much enjoyment as we can and we'll do that by trying to win matches and playing football."



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