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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Stepping It Up

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MARK HUGHES has revealed that he will be giving as much game-time as possible to each of the players he takes out with him on the Club's pre-season tour of the United States, which gets underway on Monday.

The Stoke City boss and his first team squad will be spending nine days in America, where friendlies are scheduled to take place against Major League Soccer side's Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union.

The Welshman has recently highlighted the success of the five-day training camp in France, but feels that the forthcoming trip to the States will be even more beneficial to the players, in terms of building up their match fitness.

"The biggest thing for us out in America will be giving the players as much game time as possible, which is the next stage of training for them," he told Stoke City Player.

"We have done the work that we feel has been needed to take them up to a level where they are ready for game time, so it will be good for us to see them in action in games."

He added: "We can start seeing some little patterns of play, seeing how players are developing and finding out what they are comfortable with and what they aren't comfortable with, and once we have that insight we can adjust the team accordingly."

Hughes also admits to being pleasantly surprised by the technical abilities and work ethic of the players that he and his management team have inherited from former boss Tony Pulis.

"I have to say I've been really pleased with the technical ability of the squad as a whole and I think maybe I've been guilty of assuming there's a certain type of player here.

"That's not the case I've been really pleased with what I've found here and the level of ability that's in the building."

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