English Premiership

Hughes defiant despite Stoke fans' discontent

Mark Hughes (Getty Images)
Mark Hughes (Getty Images)

London - Mark Hughes says he is the best person to lead Stoke away from the relegation zone despite fans calling for his head after a 1-0 loss to Newcastle on Monday.

The 54-year-old former Wales and Manchester United striker - who numbers Manchester City among clubs he has managed - has seen his side slide to fifth from bottom with just one win in their last seven league matches.

Monday's reverse allowed Newcastle to leapfrog Stoke in the table and left the Potters just two points above the relegation places with third from bottom West Ham having two games in hand.

"Who else is going to do it?" Hughes asked the BBC about the Stoke manager's job.

"In terms of the knowledge of the group and the progress in my time here, I'm the best person to do it."

Hughes, who has seen Premier League rivals such as Tony Pulis, Ronald Koeman and Paul Clement sacked already this season because of poor runs, insisted he made the right call in playing a second string side in the 5-0 hammering by Chelsea on Saturday to save his first choice team for Monday's clash.

"Everyone's saying that I gambled but I used the players that I had, what was I going to do?" said Hughes, who has been in charge of Stoke since 2013.

"Risk players that had a big part to play today? Plenty of teams have made changes today, everyone else is doing it too."

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