Hughes: We're no pushovers

09 November 2013 04:34

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has warned Swansea counterpart Michael Laudrup to underestimate the Potters at his peril on Sunday.

On the back of a seven-match winless run, and with Hughes attempting to still get his ideas across after taking over from Tony Pulis in the summer, Laudrup may consider this an ideal time to play Stoke.

That would especially be the case with the Swans looking to bounce back from a south Wales derby defeat to Cardiff last Sunday, and in the wake of a long European trip to Russia given their Europa League clash on Thursday against Kuban Krasnodar.

"Other clubs might be thinking it's a good time to play us if they haven't done their homework and haven't looked at each and every game we've played and the way we've played," said Hughes.

"If they look solely at the stat that we haven't won in seven games then people would probably assume it's a good time to play us and that we are a struggling side.

"But if you actually look at how we've played, certainly in away games in recent times such as Fulham and Manchester United - where everybody and his dog thought we should have got something from that - then you wouldn't come to that conclusion."

Hughes, however, recognises in claiming just three points from the seven games - which has seen Stoke slide to 17th in the table and a point above the relegation zone - a victory is vital, even if he can have no complaints with the way his players have been performing.

"It's still early days, we're only 10 games into the season and we're trying to change things," added Hughes.

"We feel there is an opportunity, with the group I've got now and the capabilities of the group, to play a little more football, and we've shown that on many occasions this season.

"We obviously have to align performances with results, and I'm convinced that will happen.

"On very few occasions they've disappointed me, for the most part we've been okay.

"We've gone through a difficult period in terms of the opposition we have been up against, and now it's time for us to put more points on the board."

Hughes does appreciate that reinforcements may be required come the opening of the January transfer window, notably in attack as Stoke have scored just seven goals in their 10 league games to date.

"I've said from the start of the season I feel the capability of the players I have here is good," said Hughes.

"They're lacking in terms of goals, which hasn't really been resolved because I said in the summer I was looking for a striker and we were unable to bring one in.

"We'll keep looking, and if good players become available and we can go into the market and attract them then we'll try and do that.

"The only problem is January isn't a great window because invariably you have to pay over the odds because teams don't particularly want their good players to leave.

"If we are to improve the group we have to buy good players and they come at a premium, so it's not easy to get the players you want at the price you want.

"So we shouldn't put all our eggs in the January basket because we've enough players here to get the job done this season even if we aren't able to bring good players to the club."

For the clash with Swansea Hughes has doubts over midfielders Glenn Whelan (hamstring) and Jon Walters (thigh), along with defender Erik Pieters (back).

Source: PA