Hughes in hot water as Stoke’s struggles continue against Newcastle

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Prior to Monday’s home defeat to Newcastle, Stoke manager Mark Hughes promised sweeping changes in his side’s form and a positive result to boot.

Well, neither of things happened at the bet365 Stadium, as Stoke dropped another result, its 12th loss of the season. That leaves the Potters just two points above the relegation zone, with Stoke winning just two of its last 12 league matches.

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“I rested players to try and beat Newcastle which I believe we will do,” Hughes said ahead of Monday’s match. “The landscape of the game changes completely on Monday.”

While chances were there for the taking on the day against an up-and-down Newcastle side, Stoke found difficulty capitalizing when it mattered most.

The Potters’ offensive output has sputtered at times throughout the 2017/18 campaign, but it’s been the backline that has been even more worrisome for Hughes and Co.

Hughes felt as though his side was unlucky to not come away with at least a point, saying, “We didn’t deserve to lose. But their keeper made some great saves.”

The manager was defiant though when met by reporters after the match, feeling as though he couldn’t have made any different decisions for the fixture.

“Everybody talks about the changes we made but Rafa Benitez made six changes, what’s the difference,” Hughes said post match. “I don’t see why my decisions are questioned. I am brave enough to take it on the chin.”

This season, Stoke has conceded a whopping 47 goals in 22 Premier League matches, nine more than any other top-flight club.

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For this reason, Hughes was greeted by “you’re being sacked in the morning” chants following Ayoze Perez’s winner on Monday, and now it seems like a matter of time before the veteran PL manager is searching for work once more.