Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hughes focused after Mourinho backing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Sep 2016

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Mark Hughes welcomed Jose Mourinho’s backing as he prepares to chase a first Premier League victory of the season at the seventh attempt when Stoke City travel to Manchester United on Sunday.

Stoke are second bottom of the Premier League on two points and will attempt to turn this record around at a ground where they have not tasted victory since 1976.

Nevertheless, speaking after United’s laboured 1-0 win over Zorya in the Europa League on Thursday, Mourinho said he expected a tough test from a team and a manager occupying an unrealistic place in the table.

“We don’t rest on our laurels and think that we will turn our season around without having to work,” said Hughes at a pre-match media conference.

“Most people on the outside feel that we are a good side who are in a false position.

“Clearly performances thus far have us sitting in a position that we don’t want to be in, but clearly our last two showings have been more like our old selves and most people have noted that, including opposition managers.”

Despite the dismal run, Hughes – who will make a late call on Joe Allen due to the Wales midfielder suffering from a tight hamstring – does not believe confidence in the Stoke dressing room has taken a hit.

“Ideally we want the first win,” he added. “We are sure that it will come soon. I have seen a confident team on the pitch, one who wants to address the situation.

“Our confidence hasn’t been affected. Clearly we want to get the three points on the board, although that will be difficult this weekend.

“We haven’t picked up a point there in 40 odd years, but if we are to get a first win soon, then why can’t it be at Old Trafford?”

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