Sports

'It's about getting the win against Newcastle' - Hughes explains Stoke changes

'It's about getting the win against Newcastle' - Hughes explains Stoke changes

While his side are lagging well behind leaders Manchester City in this season's title race, the Italian is still delighted with the way the last 12 months played out in west London. Furthermore, despite not winning the FA Cup against Arsenal, reaching the finals was at least a good sign for the players and the fans who endured one hell of a season prior to that.

"I think our performance was very positive, we started the game very well with great desire to score early because, as I've said before, in this type of game if you score early it can become easier because your opponent has to change their plan". "This was a fantastic year", the 48-year-old told reporters. To be able to do this at your first try, I will remember this year in my mind forever.

Yes, manager Antonio Conte did rest Eden Hazard but was otherwise confident in playing more first- team regulars in the knowledge that he does not now have to deal with the same 48-hour turnaround as Stoke.

Chelsea won the game thanks to goals from five different scorers, with Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Pedro, Willian and Davide Zappacosta all getting on the scoresheet.

But afterwards, Hughes insisted he had always been focusing on finishing the hectic current schedule with a home win on Monday - a game he expects to have Joe Allen, Xherdan Shaqiri and Kurt Zouma available for, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Eric Pieters also in contention. "What we had defensively was what you saw".

"I made decisions I feel will help us with the game we have on Monday".


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