Report: Stoke City manager concedes Arsenal superiority

Mark Hughes Press Conference Disappointed 12/02/2014

Mark Hughes accepts that Arsenal were simply the better side on Saturday.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has accepted his side weren’t good enough in the defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League.

A header from Laurent Koscielny and a brace from Alexis Sanchez saw the Gunners run out as comfortable winners at the Emirates Stadium.

Hughes’s side were never in the running during the game as they rarely threatened to trouble an Arsenal side who were keen to avenge their 3-2 defeat at the Britannia Stadium earlier in the season.

“I am disappointed, I think it is fair to say that because we were never able to get to grips with the game,” the Welshman told the club’s official website.

“We got off to an incredibly poor start, which doesn’t help when you come to places like this, but even after that we were never able to take the game to them at any point.”

The Potters manager did, however, admit that Arsenal were deserved victors, accepting that they were sharper on the day and created more chances than his side.

Aside from the disappointing result, Hughes was also forced to take off both Steven Nzonzi and Erik Pieters at half time due to the pair suffering injuries.

They will now have to be assessed before Stoke’s next game against Leicester City.

“It was nothing tactical it was purely down to the fact that they had both felt a slight strain in the groins, so that was obviously a disappointment,” he added.

“We will have to settle them down over the next day or two and then assess it from there.”

The away side were also forced to take off star forward Bojan late on in the game, with Hughes later revealing that it was done to protect the Spaniard and nothing more.

“He has picked up a few niggles towards the end of matches recently and we didn’t want to allow that to be the case once more,” he said.

“I’m grateful that we got 70 minutes out of him because that was more than we anticipated. It was just sensible to take him off and protect his own well-being.”

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