Article

Under-fire Hughes promises results will come for Stoke

14 December 2017 18:49

Mark Hughes believes hard work is key for struggling Stoke City as pressure grows on the under-pressure Welshman, who insists he has the support of the club's owners.

Stoke have lost four of their last five games in the Premier League to slip to 15th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.

Potters chairman Peter Coates suggested before Tuesday's 1-0 loss at Burnley that the next two games could be decisive for Hughes' future.

Hughes led Stoke to three successive ninth-place places in the Premier League but saw his side finish 13th last time out, while the 54-year-old has denied he was offered the chance to take over at Crystal Palace.

"I'm not aware of that," Hughes told reporters on Thursday. "Why would I leave Stoke City?

"I enjoy working here and I've got a committed group of players. We are not the only team to suffer trials and tribulations this season - not quite where we want to be - but we've got the means to do something about it.

"The owners are fans. The fans here have been fantastic since I came here. All they demand is players giving everything and playing for the shirt. And the owners are fans. If they see players giving everything they've got and working hard then they know if they work that hard over a period of time then results will come.

"It'’s not always a straight line, there are peaks and troughs but if good people are allowed to get on with their jobs they can turn things around."

Hughes stressed he has a strong relationship with Stoke's owners, the Coates family, despite the team's troubles on the pitch this season.

"Every day, either to John or Peter," Hughes said when asked how often he spoke with the club's owners. "We’re actually out this evening. They've invited us for a Christmas meal.

"Peter comes for lunch every Friday. They are good people. They're good football people and they have been around for long time. They know they've got good people working for them and they know they can let people get on with the job they're paid to do."

Saturday's home game against West Ham could be pivotal for Hughes' Stoke future, but he will be without defenders Bruno Martins Indi and Kurt Zouma.

"Unfortunately, Kurt won't be available this weekend, which is of course a disappointment for us," said Hughes, who blamed the defender's injury for his side's loss at Turf Moor.

"Bruno will be a few more weeks, but he, and ourselves, are quite happy with the way things are progressing. We don’t think it will be six to eight weeks as we initially thought but he will still miss the Christmas period, I would suggest."

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