Mark Hughes has said Jose Mourinho’s comments about his team’s style of play after the 2-2 home draw with Manchester United on Saturday were an “easy swipe.”
“That’s just an easy swipe at us, really,” the Stoke manager said. “You could argue United played more long balls — and why wouldn’t they, because they’ve got power and pace, and if they can get those players ahead of the ball with good accuracy they’ve got pace and power to burn.
“So I don’t know what the stats are but I’d argue that in general play they played more long balls than we did because they’ve got that threat and that’s what they try to exploit.
“I think it’s a bit lazy of people to keep on reverting to that ‘Stoke are a physical team’ thing.
“Goodness knows we had too many free kicks against us, but that wasn’t because we’re a physical team, it was because the referee misinterpreted too many things, in my view.”
“This is my fifth season, and since we’ve changed we’ve had better success in relative terms and in terms of league position.
“We’re trying to be better. We slipped back to a certain degree last year and we don’t want that to happen.
“I think we’re 10th after the games today and that’s where we see ourselves. We’re a top-10 side, in my view, and we’ve just got to prove it this year.”