Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says that a tough run of matches during Christmas is partly to blame for the bad luck that the club has had with injuries the last few weeks.
Hughes has had to contend with a number of key players being unavailable during this period. He says that Stoke were involved in a number of tough matches against tough opposition during Christmas.
The level of intensity needed to get results against teams like Chelsea has taken a lot out of the club according to the former Blackburn Rovers manager. Despite this, results have been good enough to see Stoke climb into the top 10 of the table.
They have managed to do so despite suffering a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in the last league match. Hughes was speaking to the press ahead of the FA Cup match against Blackburn Rovers. Given that the club appear to be safe from any threat of relegation, Hughes is likely to concentrate on doing well in the FA Cup. A victory against the championship outfit will put Stoke in the quarter-finals of the competition. Hughes will also have extra motivation for a victory given that it is his former club.
“We’ve just come through a really tough period for games in terms of the Christmas period and the quality of the opposition we’ve been up against.That extra demand on you as a player in terms of the amount of games and the opposition means we’ve had a little bit of reaction.We’re hoping we’re going to get it back but they all seem to have coincided at the same time of the season. We’ve had a really difficult period but the number of points we’re delighted with, but we have lost a few,” said Hughes.