Mark Hughes has accused Stoke of “allowing their intensity to drop” after watching his side comprehensively beaten once again.
The Potters lost 4-0 at Manchester City on Saturday, the third game in row that has seen them concede four goals following heavy defeats to Liverpool and Tottenham previously.
Hughes was evidently in no mood to sugar coat what he had witnessed, though, and didn’t hold back when asked about the performance.
“Once again we have conceded poor goals which is a recurring theme,” he told reporters. “There are certain fundamentals you need to get right and we have switched off from a corner. The first goal is so important in the Premier League.
“We were a million miles away from where we need to be in the first half. We are lacking the pace and power you need in key areas of the field.
“I’m not one to look at injuries but we have got guys coming back from long-term injuries and playing through injuries. It’s difficult. We have issues but we should help ourselves.
“It’s a long, hard season and a few of the lads have allowed their intensity to drop.
“We need to address it quickly. We have been found lacking in three games against good teams.”
Midfielder Glenn Whelan was similarly scathing, adding: “We are going through a difficult stage, we are feeling sorry for ourselves. This is not the Stoke City I am used to playing with and we owe more to our fans.
“We don’t want the season to fizzle out, we have three games to turn it around. Listen, we need to look at ourselves. It hasn’t been good enough. We are giving away soft goals.”