Mark Hughes says Sunderland clash is a must-win for Stoke

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes

Hughes believes the team have worked hard over the international break and will come back in good form against Sunderland.

Stoke City manager Mark HughesStoke City manager Mark Hughes

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes Saturday's match against Sunderland is a must-win for the team and is confidant they can do it, according to his pre-match press conference, reported on the club's official website.

Stoke have yet to win a game this season and sit one spot from the bottom of the league with only Sunderland below them, also in search of their first win.

Speaking to the media, Hughes said: "It is one that we need to win and one that we feel we can win. I have the confidence in the team to win the game.

"Sunderland will come here and they won't want to get beat. We will have to be positive and the fans will play a big part.

"We understand what Sunderland offer and we will need to be vigilant. Everybody has come back from the break in good heart and are ready to get back down to business."

Stoke went into the break having taken a point at Old Trafford for the first time in more than 30 years and will host Sunderland at the bet365 Stadium when the Premier League resumes.

Hughes' side snatched a point at Manchester United as Joe Allen capitalised on a spill from David de Gea to punish the hosts' lax first-half finishing.

Stoke City's Joe Allen scores their first goalStoke City's Joe Allen scores their first goal

The Potters have lost some tough matches at home, including a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City and a 4-0 drubbing by Tottenham but Mark Hughes feels their recent form has been encouraging.

He added: "We have been really encouraged with our performances the last two or three games and people can see that we are getting back to our level.

"Getting a point at Old Trafford was hugely positive for us and we are back on track now from our point of view."

Sunderland's Lamine Kone heads at goalSunderland's Lamine Kone heads at goal

Sunderland have lost all but one of their league fixtures on the road, conceding a total of four goals in three matches but did win an EFL third round match at QPR.

Despite being forced to cool their heels by the international break, Stoke are hoping to gather speed through to the end of the year.

"If we can get three points at the weekend then we will very quickly build our season - that is the feeling we all share within the building.

"We have a period leading into Christmas where we feel we have an opportunity to get a lot of points on the board - that is our intention."

Stoke City's Lee Grant celebrates after Joe Allen scored their first goalStoke City's Lee Grant celebrates after Joe Allen scored their first goal

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