Hughes Expects Chelsea Response
Manager Mark Hughes has said he expects to see a response from Stoke City when we face Chelsea this weekend following the defeat to Bristol City in the EFL Cup.
Having lost two nil at Ashton Gate in midweek with a very poor performance, Hughes is demanding better at the Bet365 Stadium this weekend as we welcome Antonio Conte's boys to home soil.
Speaking to the Official Website as he met with the media to preview the game, Hughes admitted it had been a hugely frustrating week when you factor in the loss to Newcastle as well, so he was demanding a response at this time of asking.
'We disappointed ourselves earlier in the week, so we are eager to respond to that in the right manner against Chelsea. There is always a reaction on the back of a disappointing result, and we fully expect the performance to be markedly better this weekend.'
Hughes admitted there is nothing the side can do about what happened on Tuesday, so now it's about moving forward and finding some positives again.
'There is nothing we can do about what happened on Tuesday so we need to make a good account of ourselves against the champions, which I fully believe we will do. We are coming up against Chelsea, the champions, and we saw their quality in midweek when they were able to dispatch of their opposition at ease. It will be a huge test for us, but we have come up against Arsenal and Manchester United and taken points off them so we are confident of doing the same this weekend. We may have to ride our luck at times, just as you always do in these games, but we have done well in our last two home fixtures and we want that to continue this weekend.'
In terms of an injury update ahead of the game, defensively we have issues as at the time of speaking to the press, we had just one fit senior defender available for the game.
The Welshman is without Kurt Zouma owing to the terms of his loan deal and both Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron have already been ruled out with their injuries.
This has been made worse with news that Kevin Wimmer now faces a race against time to be fit following the minor hamstring issue he picked up in the build up to the midweek loss.
'It`s fair to say we are struggling in defensive positions, which is hugely frustrating. Ryan Shawcross unfortunately isn`t going to make it, neither is Geoff Cameron and Kevin Wimmer is going to be touch and go too. Kevin is our major doubt for the game, so I am waiting on an update on his availability, we are desperately hoping he is ok. He has a hamstring injury which has hindered him this week, so we are going to have to check up on him this afternoon and then make a decision.'
'Obviously had Kurt been available then we would have been able to manage, but as it stands we are down to just one senior defender, Bruno Martins Indi.'
Harry Souttar could step up the Premier League for the first time, but Hughes could move Glen Johnson or Erik Pieters into more central positions as well.