Stoke City subdued but Hughes still happy

Known for their fiery brand of football that blends aerial bombardments and deadly counter-attacks, Stoke City were muted at the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore.

But manager Mark Hughes is still satisfied with his men's displays after the Potters defeated the Singapore Selection 2-0 to finish third.

"I have been really pleased with what we have produced and it has been a great workout for us," said the 51-year-old Welshman.

"We have not hit the heights (here) but we will in the season. I was encouraged by the technical ability we have shown and (it comes) from what we added to the group with players like Joselu.

Some of the guys we bought have also had game time here and in time they will also gel with the group."

IN THE HUNT

We have had conversations with a lot of players... He (Yarmolenko) is the lad we hope to bring in if we can and we are hopeful to get a player of top, top quality, a player of his type.

MARK HUGHES, Stoke City manager, on his latest transfer target Andriy Yarmolenko

Tellingly, the Potters' defence kept two clean sheets in their two games in Singapore. On Wednesday, they drew 0-0 with Everton before losing 5-4 on penalties.

Stoke are in the process of reinforcing for the new English Premier League season, which starts on Aug 8. Hughes has already added seven players during the summer transfer window with the likes of Joselu, Glen Johnson, Shay Given and Marco van Ginkel.

The manager admitted that the club are now in the market for a fleet-footed forward. When asked if Stoke were eyeing reported target, Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko, Hughes replied: "We have had conversations with a lot of players and our connection with good players is good (for the club)."

"He (Yarmolenko) is the lad we hope to bring in if we can and we are hopeful to get a player of top, top quality, a player of his type."

Deepanraj Ganesan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 19, 2015, with the headline 'Stoke City subdued but Hughes still happy'. Print Edition | Subscribe