Hughes focuses on positives despite Stoke collapse

Date published: Sunday 3rd April 2016 11:42

Mark Hughes: Says managers were given guidelines on grappling

Mark Hughes: Says managers were given guidelines on grappling

Mark Hughes preferred to focus on Stoke City’s overall display rather than their late collapse after they blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Swansea City.

A win would have been Stoke’s fifth in seven matches, but the draw keeps them in eighth in the Premier League as they lost ground in the battle for Europe.

Hughes acknowledged Swansea’s substitutes, including the particularly lively Jefferson Montero, made a difference after the break.

But he took issue with the effort Alberto Paloschi struck past Premier League debutant goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard, who had come into the starting XI for the injured Jack Butland, being allowed to stand.

Asked if he saw the result as a win thrown away, Hughes said: “Yes, to a certain extent.

“I thought we were good value at 2-0 and quite comfortable in the game. But as everyone knows, 2-0 up is always one of those leads that, for whatever reason, seems to be difficult to protect, and this was a case in point today.

“The key thing was who was going to score the next goal, and obviously Swansea got it.

“They got a bit of a lift from that. They had brought the lad Montero on, who gave them an outlet, and in the end they got a second goal.

“I’d say we got a little bit leggy, while Swansea had nothing to lose – they could have a real go and throw on attack-minded players. Possibly we got a little bit apprehensive, trying to protect what we had.

“But we are disappointed with the decision on the second goal because there was a player in an offside position who made a movement towards the ball, meaning he was interfering with play, so it shouldn’t have been given.

“All in all, we are disappointed, but I thought there was some really progressive play in what we did today, some good movement.

“I was pleased up to a point – but obviously, with losing the 2-0 lead, it feels somewhat like a defeat.”

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