Hughes: Defeat was unexpected but it won’t hit confidence

Date published: Sunday 20th December 2015 12:57

Mark Hughes: Disappointed with recent results

Mark Hughes insisted Stoke’s confidence remains unaffected despite seeing Crystal Palace claim a 2-1 win  at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The Potters, who again deployed attacking trio Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic together in the hope of recreating their showing against Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium, were frustrated by Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey on three occasions.

When he was eventually beaten by Bojan from 12 yards, Hughes did not expect a side that had substituted Connor Wickham, Jason Puncheon and Wilfried Zaha to find a winner.

“Towards the end of the game you’re thinking Palace looked reasonably comfortable or happy with the point because they’d taken most of their more creative players out of the game,” Hughes noted.

“But, lo and behold, they get one last corner and it drops to the lad on the edge of the box who will never hit a ball like that ever again, probably hasn’t before either.

“That’s what happens – it’s sport, you have to dust yourself down and keep going. Confidence wise we’re not affected because I thought we did okay today.

“You’ve got to give credit to their keeper, I thought he was outstanding,” Hughes added.

“Hennessey made two or three really key saves. I think he’s having a run of games. He’s the Welsh keeper who I keep an eye on; I thought he was excellent.

“Jack Butland made one great save at the end when (Yannick) Bolasie went through but in terms of the amount of work the keepers had to do, there was a marked difference in the amount of work that he had to do and the work Jack had to do.

“Credit to him, sometimes it’s not always bad finishing, it’s good keeping.”

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