Mark Hughes has admitted Stoke’s recent defeats to Manchester City and Blackburn have “knocked the stuffing out” of his side but he is confident they will respond well.
The Potters have been well beaten 4-1 in their last two games, going down at home to Premier League title hopefuls City and then being dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship outfit Rovers on Saturday.
It has been a tough week for Hughes and his players, and the Welshman admits the back-to-back defeats have been hard to take but he stresses he expects his side to bounce back quickly.
Stoke go to struggling Aston Villa on Saturday, with their opponents having recently appointed Tim Sherwood as their new manager over the weekend, and Hughes will hope to pick up a positive result (Villa 2.50 to be relegated).
“We’ve had a good season up to this point, two games won’t change that,” he said. “The last two games have knocked the stuffing out of us somewhat. But we’ve a week now, we can pick ourselves up, and we’ll go again, we’ll be fine even if it hurts me whenever we get beaten.”
Stoke sit down in 10th place in the Premier League so are unlikely to be involved in a relegation scrap but are equally too far off the sides competing for a European place. That has led to suggestions that the Potters’ season could fizzle out, but Hughes insists that will not be the case between now and May.
“We’re absolutely determined not to allow that to happen,” Hughes said after the loss at Ewood Park.