Stoke chief rules out Bojan exit as Hughes fumes

Date published: Monday 4th January 2016 10:04

Bojan: Will not leave Stoke City in January, says Peter Coates

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has dismissed the prospect of Bojan leaving the Britannia Stadium this month.

It was reported over the weekend that Bojan has a £10million release clause in his contract, leading to links with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, but Coates has ruled out a January transfer for the 25-year-old.

He told The Sun: “We’ll be keeping him, he won’t be going anywhere.”

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, meanwhile, has demanded a reaction from his players in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg after they disappointed in a 2-1 defeat at West Brom on Saturday.

The Potters went into the game on a high having beaten Manchester United and Everton over the Christmas period, but Hughes was not in a forgiving mood after they suffered the setback at The Hawthorns.

“I was doing all the talking, but you know as a player when you haven’t quite hit the level you are capable of,” Hughes said.

“The Premier League is a tough league and you need everyone hitting good levels or you can’t win games. Whatever the circumstance of the game are, we had too many at not quite where they needed to be. You can’t carry anyone.

“We had lapses, details of the game we didn’t do correctly. The last corner of the game, we need to deal with that.

“Even when you are not playing particularly well – and we’re honest enough to admit that – you should still, if you are in a position to take something out of the game, be able to do it.”

While Stoke have impressed against the Premier League’s leading clubs this season, they have struggled against the so-called lesser lights.

It is a problem Hughes acknowledges, but he does not regret his decision to name an unchanged side against Tony Pulis’ physical West Brom side.

“If we are going to progress as a team we need to find a way to do it against the top teams and those in and around them,” Hughes said.

“It’s a challenge for us. We’re not the finished article. We do good things and at other times we let ourselves down. It’s about minimising those things which disappoint us.

“At times we needed a bit more of a physical presence, but then you forsake a bit of technical ability.

“We made the change quite quickly just after they scored the opening goal, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I backed the ability of my team given what they produced in the last two games. I thought it was a fair call to go with them again.”

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