Stoke boss Mark Hughes accepts frustration at poor run of form
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 28/04/17 11:49am
Mark Hughes accepts the frustration felt by Stoke fans and admits they now expect a level of success.
The Potters are chasing an unprecedented fourth successive top-10 finish in the Premier League and are just one point and one place off that with four games left to go.
But having recovered from a poor start they hit form to advance up the table, only to falter again with five defeats in their last six matches.
Stoke were beaten 2-0 by relegation-threatened Swansea last weekend and another poor showing at home to West Ham on Saturday could further inflame supporters' ire.
"It's a case of expectation. Since I've come here I've tried to raise expectations and for the most part we've matched the expectations of everybody at the club and the supporters," said Hughes.
"This year we've still got an opportunity to be in the top 10 but, for whatever reason, maybe the perception is that we haven't quite achieved what we were capable of.
"The Premier League this year is really strong, certainly the top end is very strong, and very few clubs have been able to take points off the top sides.
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"In recent weeks Crystal Palace have managed it but the likes of ourselves haven't managed it. I think Southampton have struggled to beat top-six clubs.
"If the perception is that the expectation hasn't been met then there'll be a little bit of disappointment, and that goes with the territory.
"We're quite comfortable with that, we understand that, but we're still trying to achieve things that haven't been achieved here and we've still got the possibility of doing that so we'll continue in that way."
A positive end to the season would boost morale in the camp and set things up nicely for the new campaign, starting with the game against the Hammers.
We've still got an opportunity to be in the top 10 but the perception is that we haven't quite achieved what we were capable of
"We were obviously disappointed with the result last weekend but when we've had a disappointment, more often than not we've bounced back," added Hughes.
"I fully expect us to have a good performance in front of our home crowd, get past 40 [points] and see if we can finish the season on a high.
"It's important to do that, it puts everybody in a good frame of mind leading into the summer and looking very quickly to the new season. Next year we'll try and improve in terms of what we were able to achieve this year."