Boss: Players Ready For Everton

Mark Hughes

MARK HUGHES has declared his side ready for the big kick-off after rounding off their preparations for the new campaign in hugely impressive fashion on Saturday.

The Potters produced without doubt their most impressive pre-season showing as they came from behind to stun Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena in their final outing before next weekend’s hotly-anticipated trip to Everton.

It had appeared the visitors could be in for a long day when they fell behind to a fifth minute penalty, however they turned the game on its head thanks to Mama Diouf’s third effort of the summer and a late Marvin Compper own goal.

Speaking following the game, Hughes said: “We got everything that we wanted out of the game, and more, so we are really pleased with the way things have panned out.

“It’s been a demanding pre-season but the lads have come through it well, and have put in their best performance against their best opposition, so I think that bodes well for the season ahead.

“Sometimes when you have games against supposedly lesser opposition then you don't quite have the competitive juices going and it's difficult to get everybody up to speed.

“This time because of the quality of Leipzig we were ready and I thought we were excellent - we showed a real purpose to our play, which we needed to do to be fair, because they are a very good side."

“They have a specific way of playing, which we spoke about before the game, they like to play narrow, so we looked at ways of nullifying their threats and trying to be proactive ourselves at the other end.

“There were a few nervy moments early on, but once we got to grips with things and settled down a little bit we looked dangerous whenever we were on the ball, and I feel we deserved to win the game.”

He added: “As far as we are concerned, that’s us done now, and we can’t wait to get going next weekend - we are ready for it.”