English Premiership

Hughes hails gutsy Potters

2017-03-09 18:33
Stoke City (AFP)

Cape Town - Stoke boss Mark Hughes was thrilled with the shift his side put in on Wednesday night as they held Manchester City to a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium.

It was a disciplined performance from the Potters as they hardly put a foot wrong to limit the star-studded Citizens to just one shot on target throughout the match.

The introduction of David Silva in the second half for City nearly changed the game as the Spaniard went close on a couple of occasions, but the visitors held on to come away with a share of the spoils.

A delighted Hughes told Sky Sports afterwards: 'Plans and formations and different systems are all well and good, but you need the players to commit to it and that's what we did to a man tonight.

'I thought we had some good opportunities in the first half, and with a little bit more care, we could have capitalised on that.

'We restricted them to very few opportunities and I don't think Lee Grant had one save to make in open play, which tells you how well we did on the night. I was really pleased."

Hughes was especially pleased with the performances of Jonathan Walters and Saido Berahino, having opted to play two up front against Pep Guardiola's men.

'Usually we play in a certain shape but we changed it tonight, going with two up top,' the Welshman added. 'They had to do a specific job for us, and I thought Berahino and Walters were the catalyst for our performance.

'They worked hard and did what was expected of them, which encouraged everyone behind them. I took (Berahino) off at the end but he still had good energy levels. He's up to speed now and will get a lot of games between now and the end of the season.'

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