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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes' Positive Thinking

Mark Hughes

MARK HUGHES believes the Potters productive Christmas period will stand his side in good stead heading into the New Year regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s showdown with champions Chelsea.

The Potters travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend looking to build upon the recent home victory over West Bromwich Albion and the Boxing Day draw with Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Whilst Hughes admits that the clash in West London will fully test his injury-depleted squad, he feels the fact that his players have taken four points from their last two outings gives reason for optimism moving into 2018.

Speaking to the media on Friday morning, the Welshman said: “We were frustrated more than anything a few weeks ago, but we have had two games over Christmas and picked up four points, which is a decent return.

“We have a real sense of determination within the group, and we have seen that over the past week or two.

“Obviously Chelsea will be difficult, but Newcastle United, straight after, we have to make sure we are ready for that and really kick on in the New Year."

“We are ticking along again now, we need to get over one point a game, which is what we have always done, so to a large degree we are back on an even keel. 

“We have some decent games coming up, so we feel we will be more than OK in the New Year.”

He added: “We are obviously desperate to get a number of key players, who are missing through injury, back to full fitness, but once we do that then I am confident of enjoying a really productive second half of the season.”

Tickets for the New Year’s Day home game against Newcastle United are available – visit the bet365 Stadium Ticket Office, or call on (01782) 367599.