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Railway station abuse could get us back on track, says Stoke boss Hughes

Railway station abuse could get us back on track, says Stoke boss Hughes

LONDON (Reuters) – Mark Hughes said he does not blame Stoke City fans abusing his players at a railway station on Saturday after a 5-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur and says being exposed to their fury could do them a favour.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs Stoke City – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – December 9, 2017 Stoke City manager Mark Hughes Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Stoke’s players had travelled home from Wembley on the same train as some of the club’s supporters and were spotted when getting off at Stoke-on-Trent station to board a coach and continue their journey. The reception they received was not a positive one.

“That could possibly be a good thing. Sometimes we are accused as managers, coaches and players of being in a bubble and sometimes you have to be exposed to the genuine feeling of the fans,” Hughes, whose side face a trip to in-form Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday, told reporters.

”On the day it was a little bit emotional, clearly. We were hurting as much as the fans were.

“We probably irritated them a little bit because for whatever reason the decision was made that the doors on the train were locked and they couldn’t get out and we were allowed to get off first. I don’t know who made that decision, but that maybe upped the level of frustration as well.”

Stoke’s fourth successive heavy loss to Tottenham left them in 15th place in the league, three points above the relegation zone and increased the pressure on Hughes.

“We owe it to our fans to do something about it and that’s our intention,” the former Manchester City boss said.

Stoke became the first top-flight side to lose four consecutive games by a four-goal margin to the same club after a second-half capitulation at Wembley.

They lost the previous three 4-0.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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Source: Reuters Sport

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