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Hughes frustrated by poor Stoke defending

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 May 2016

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Mark Hughes lambasted Stoke City’s defensive display as they threw away a one-goal lead against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Charlie Adam had given Stoke the lead after 26 minutes at Selhurst Park as the visitors looked comfortable, however that all changed after the break.

After Dwight Gayle had levelled things up two minutes into the second half, the striker doubled his tally to seal a 2-1 win and all three points for Alan Pardew’s side.

Hughes blamed poor decision making from his side as the points slipped from their grasp.

“I am disappointed to be perfectly honest,” he told the club’s official website. 

“We were in decent control of the game, 1-0 to the good and they hadn’t created anything of note. 

“We talked at half-time about being resolute after the break – which is always a key period – you know the opposition will come out quickly, which they did, and our defensive play leading to their opening goal was poor. 

“We missed about three or four challenges on the edge of the box, you can’t do that, you’ve got to make sure you are resolute there, we weren’t we were poor in that and allowed them back into a game which certainly in the first half looked like it was going to go away from them.”

Stoke’s players were not the only ones to come under attack from Hughes, though, referee Kevin Friend also feeling the wrath of the 52-year-old.

He added: “The free-kick that lead to their winner, I thought it was a poor decision once again from the referee.

“On the day I thought it was one of the worst performances I’ve seen him put in. He’s one of the most experienced referees, but I thought all day long he was very poor. 

“[But] we made it difficult for ourselves because we allowed them back into the game.”

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