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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

A Perfect Week - Hughes

Mark Hughes

MARK HUGHES says his side couldn't have got their pre-season campaign off to a better start after returning back to the UK late on Saturday evening.

The Potters brought the curtain down on their week-long stay in Switzerland with an entertaining affair against Champions League runners up AS Monaco yesterday afternoon.

Despite slipping to a 4-2 defeat in Martigny, Hughes spoke glowingly of the trip and said that coming up against the likes of the French champions so early on will stand his side in good stead.

"It's been a really good week for us out here, especially having gotten all of the lads through at least 45 minutes of football," he told Stoke City+ following the match.

"The guys have trained well, and they are all in a really good place at the moment, especially when you consider we are only 10 days into pre-season.

"It has been testing, but I think that this is certainly what we will look to do again in the future, there are a lot of positives we are taking from this trip."

"The game today was good for us too, and although we didn't win the game, I thought that we were the better side in the first half, before it became a little fragmented in the second when we were making changes.

"That was always going to be the case though, but it was a tremendous learning curve for our young players to come up against world class opposition, and, in fairness to them, stand up and be counted.

"They won't have played against players like that before, so for them to gain that experience will be really important for them - it is another positive from the week we have enjoyed out here."