Hughes Relishing Manchester City Test
Manager Mark Hughes knows Stoke City will be up against it this weekend as we face Manchester City but he knows it's a challenge to look forward to and learn from.
Heading to the Etihad Stadium this weekend following the culmination of the October international break, Hughes doesn't have a bad record against the side in fairness, especially when compared to others in the game, and with a first ever Premier League win on their ground added to a goalless draw 12 months ago, Hughes told the Official Website that he was looking for a repeat performance and hopefully a continuation of that kind of form - but he more than acknowledges this season under Pep Guardiola the challenge will be arguably greater than ever before.
'They are a very accomplished side as we very well know, and they have an enormous amount of talent both individually and collectively. We will have to be at our best if we are to get anything from the game, but we have acquitted ourselves reasonably well against the top teams this season, and I include Chelsea in that.'
'It is always difficult going to a place like Manchester City, but we can take confidence from the fact that we went there last season and performed well against them. We should be encouraged by our record there - not to many sides have won one and drawn one over the past few years, so they will know we are a good side in our own right, and will have to show us respect.'
'If they don't show us that respect, or if they aren't quite at it, then we will hopefully be able to take advantage of that, so let`s see where the game takes us.'
In terms of team news, assistant gaffer Mark Bowen had already ruled out skipper Ryan Shawcross for the game and Hughes went on to confirm that Bruno Martins Indi would also miss out on Saturday.
'We are probably as we were before the break in terms of defenders. We will still be missing Ryan Shawcross, which is disappointing, although he is making good progress. We have to be patient with him although we do feel that he will be back pretty soon. Unfortunately Bruno still isn`t with us neither, so we are going to have to wait on him a little bit longer.'
With Joe Allen still expected to be sidelined following the concussion concern he picked up on international duty for Wales, Hughes wouldn't entirely rule him out but he did speak about options available.
'We still have options though, and Geoff Cameron has come back from America OK, although he is obviously disappointed having not played and seen his country eliminated.'