Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says with confidence that the club’s season will not fizzle out after a shock 4-1 defeat against Blackburn Rovers.
This was the second consecutive defeat by the same score for Hughes, whose team now have nothing to look forward to in the remainder of the season. They are very close to achieving the magical 40 point mark that will guarantee them safety. As a result, it has been suggested that Stoke may not care about winning from here on. Dismissing those concerns, Hughes says that he is targeting a win from the next match against Aston Villa.
It will be easier said than done rejuvenated Aston Villa team will be featuring Tim Sherwood in the dugout the first time. Villa brought an end to a run of three successive defeats with a 2-1 win over Leicester City.
Further, they will be having the home advantage for this weekend’s league match. Hughes opted for a number of players with less playing time this season. They include the likes of midfielder Steve Sidwell, who featured for 38 minutes. This was only the second game for Sidwell in almost month. As a result of top teams like Chelsea and Manchester City dropping out early, there was an opportunity for Stoke to go further in the FA Cup.
“We’re absolutely determined not to allow that to happen. We’ve had a good season up to this point, two games won’t change that.The last two games have knocked the stuffing out of us somewhat. But we’ve a week now, we can pick ourselves up, and we’ll go again, we’ll be fine.It hurts me whenever we get beaten, but I’m pleased for Blackburn that they’ve progressed. They’re a good club. I had a fantastic time here, but I certainly didn’t want this to be at my expense,” said Hughes.