Stoke still wary of out-of-sorts Man Utd – Hughes

Published 12/23/2015, 8:51 AM EST
Football Soccer – Stoke City v Crystal Palace – Barclays Premier League – Britannia Stadium – 15/16 – 19/12/15 Stoke City manager Mark Hughes applauds Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Andrew Boyers


REUTERS – Stoke City are refusing to take an out-of-sorts Manchester United for granted when the sides meet in the Premier League on Saturday, with the Red Devils more than capable of rediscovering their best form, manager Mark Hughes has said.

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United have failed to win any of their last six games, a woeful run which has seen Louis van Gaal’s side eliminated from the Champions League and drop out of the top four in the Premier League.

“I have been asked whether this is a good time to play them but I am always wary of that because these type of clubs more often than not bounce back emphatically,” Hughes told reporters on Tuesday.

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“We are certainly taking nothing for granted because we are fully aware as to how difficult a challenge they will pose to us on Boxing Day (Dec. 26),” he added.

Hughes, who won the league twice as a Manchester United player, said he was aware that the Old Trafford team was in a transitory phase and that a club of their stature have the players and coaching staff to turn things around.

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“Manchester United will know themselves that they are in a period of transition and are in a different cycle now,” the Welshman added.

“Maybe they will have to wait until they are back at the level they were at before.

“They have top players and they have a manager who has managed at the very highest level. They will click again I am sure, but hopefully we won’t allow it to be at the weekend.”

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Stoke, who are 11th in the table after 17 games, welcome fifth-placed United to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

(Reporting by Nayan Das in Bengaluru)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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