We gifted it to Southampton, Hughes says of sluggish Stoke

Date published: Saturday 12th March 2016 6:41

Mark Hughes: Frustrated by Stoke defeat

Stoke boss Mark Hughes felt his side were their own worst enemies as Southampton earned a 2-1 win over the Potters at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

First-half goals from Graziano Pelle – his first in four months – earned Saints all three points, with Marko Arnautovic’s second-half reply failing to help the hosts take anything from the game.

Speaking after the game, a frustrated Hughes said: “We have been on a decent run recently. We go into these games full of ambition but you have to be spot on with the details.

“At this level, if you make mistakes, you get punished. It is a harsh lesson. That has almost certainly been the case at home this season.”

Stoke’s sluggish opening half an hour, during which time Xherdan Shaqiri also picked up a thigh injury, resulted in a first defeat in five games and it came as something of a surprise given captain Ryan Shawcross was back at the heart of the defence.

“That was the story of our day really, the start that we had,” Hughes added.

“It takes the game away from us. At this level you can’t give good teams – which Southampton are – you can’t give them the start that we gave them.

“We conceded from the very first set play, that was a disappointment given we’d highlighted that before the game.

“Second goal that they had is obviously poor from our point of view, we weren’t correct in our defensive work. Jack will be a little bit disappointed he hasn’t got a hand on it but even before that we shouldn’t have allowed the lad Pelle to walk into our penalty area and get the shot off.”

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