English Premiership

Hughes welcomes ground out victory

2017-01-04 09:51
Mame Biram Diouf.(Getty Images)

Stoke - Mark Hughes says securing all three points and keeping a clean sheet was more important than their performance as Stoke edged Watford 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Ryan Shawcross broke the deadlock at the Bet365 Stadium in first-half stoppage time before Peter Crouch poked home with 49 minutes on the clock.

The two goals were enough to secure the win and lift the Potters into 11th place on the Premier League standings, with 24 points from 20 matches.

It was a welcome result after losing 4-1 to Liverpool and 4-2 to Chelsea in their two previous outings.

After the tie, an upbeat Hughes spoke to the club's official website.

He said: "It was an important victory for us this evening, and it puts us back up into eleventh place in the league table, which is in and around where we feel we need to be.

"The performance itself wasn’t tremendous, and we have probably played better in recent games and have been beaten, but that wasn’t what it was about tonight for us.

"It was all about getting a win under our belts which we were able to get, along with a clean sheet too, which is really pleasing.

"All in all it was a very satisfying evening’s work, especially having not allowed them too many opportunities to put us under any kind of pressure."

Hughes acknowledged the importance of the timing of the two goals, as they scored twice in quick succession to kill off the Hornets.

He added: "It was important for us to start the second half brightly, having scored so late in the first, and to get another so soon after the break really put them on the back foot.

"We were able to capitalise on that and in truth were able to see out the rest of the game very comfortably."

The win sees Stoke move to 11th place in the standings with their next league encounter against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on January 14.

Kick off is at 17:00.

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