Monday, March 27, 2017

Swansea draw felt like defeat – Hughes

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Apr 2016

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Mark Hughes says Stoke City’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Swansea City on Saturday felt like a defeat after the hosts let a two-goal lead slip at the Britannia Stadium. 

The Potters dominated the opening 45 minutes and deservedly led through midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, who celebrated his 30th birthday with the opening goal. 

Forward Bojan Krkic doubled Stoke’s lead just after the break but Swansea fought back to move 10 points above the relegation zone.

Goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alberto Paloschi rescued a point for Francesco Guidolin’s men and Hughes acknowledged that giving up a commanding advantage was hard to take.

He said: “I thought we were good value at 2-0 and had many chances to make it three, which would have taken it away from Swansea.

“We were comfortable but a 2-0 lead is always hard to protect and Swansea got the lift from their first goal. They had more energy through Jefferson Montero and then they got the second.

“We thought the second was offside and that [it] should not have been given. Overall we were disappointed, I was pleased up to a point but losing a 2-0 lead is like a defeat.”

After an injury to goalkeeper Jack Butland, Hughes had to decide between youngster Jakob Haugaard or the experienced Shay Given. 

The Stoke manager went with the younger man and claimed his decision was the right one, with Given still struggling for match fitness.

“I was really pleased with his (Haugaard’s) performance and he didn’t have a chance with the goals unfortunately,” the 52-year-old said. “He dealt with what was thrown at him and his performance was of a good level.

“Shay is an outstanding keeper but he has not had a great deal of work with the senior squad, he needs a couple of games to be ready and I stand by my decision to go with Jakob.”

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