Hughes thanks Stoke faithful
By Football News
Mark Hughes hailed the reaction from Stoke City's fans as his first competitive home match saw his side beat Crystal Palace 2-1.
Hughes has had to win over the supporters following his appointment in place of Tony Pulis, but the home fans were fully behind their side at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, despite an uninspiring first-half performance that saw Marouane Chamakh give Palace an early lead.
Hughes' side continued to pass the ball and they were rewarded with a second-half comeback, as goals from Charlie Adam and captain Ryan Shawcross gave Stoke their first win of the season.
"We’re going to need the fans this year, because we're going to have days when it doesn't go the way we hope it will go," Hughes said.
"The first half wasn't what we were looking for and we were behind in the game but the second half was excellent and the strength of the crowd behind us spurred us on and we saw the game out quite comfortably I felt.
"This crowd will back you to the hilt, I thought they were excellent. We needed their help at a point in the second half and when we got the one goal they spurred us on to the second. We're going to need them this season and they were there for us today."
Hughes' brief in taking the job was to produce a more exciting style of play, but with Shawcross’ winner coming from a set-piece, the Welshman argued that he would be foolish to abandon his predecessor’s methods completely.
"We’re not going to throw things out if they work," he added. "Set-play work is a key part of any team’s make up and if you get that right you create chances.
"I’m not silly enough to say we're not going to throw the ball into the box when it's needed. We've got to get the balance right and that will come from playing week in or week out as a group and we will become better.
"We’re just a group that’s coming to terms with the way we can play and on other days we will be more fluid and more effective, but we got the job done today and that was the important thing."