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Hughes hails 'perfect' Potters

Saturday 31st August 2013 18:07

Mark Hughes felt his Stoke City side produced a 'perfect away performance' as they came away from West Ham with a 1-0 victory.

Jermaine Pennant came off the bench to score an 82nd-minute free-kick that earned the Potters all three points at Upton Park.

The 30-year-old former Liverpool winger bent an unerring shot inside the right-hand post to register his first league goal since May 2011, having been brought back to Stoke by new manager Hughes after being released at the end of last season.

"We had control of the game and never allowed West Ham any real clear cut chances in the whole 90 minutes," Hughes told Sky Sports.

"I thought we were able to hold our positions and pass and move as well as create problems.

"We probably lacked that cutting edge in terms of the final ball, but that will come. In terms of general play, I thought it was a perfect performance from us.

"Thankfully, we defended brilliantly everything that they threw at us and we always looked a threat on the break.

"Sometimes you play in those games, you play well and you don't get rewards, but thankfully we did. We got the maximum and that's the least we deserved."

Change of style

Asked if Hughes' change of style is starting to make an impression on his players, he replied: "I think you can see that we get the ball down and we pass and move.

"When we have to be strong and we have to understand what's required then we have to clear our lines and regroup. That never changes no matter what team you play for.

"We'll get better as a team. We've got a fantastic group and players who understand what it takes to win a Premier League game. It's a joy to work with."

And with transfer deadline day looming, Hughes gave a hint that he is eyeing up a few potential deals, but named no names, saying: "We're still in the mix for a number of players. We hope so and we are to bring some in, then it will help the group that's really strong and committed."

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