Mark Hughes storms out of Stoke press conference
Last Updated: 02/01/18 8:30am
Stoke boss Mark Hughes stormed out of his post-match press conference following the defeat to Newcastle after journalists questioned his decision to rest players at Chelsea.
Hughes admitted he left out key first-team players, like Joe Allen and Peter Crouch, for the 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in order to have them fresh for the home clash with the Magpies, which they ended up losing 1-0.
The Welshman departed the field to cries for him to quit from his own supporters after Ayoze Perez's winner 17 minutes from time meant 2018 kicked off in the same vein as 2017 ended for Hughes, who has now overseen seven defeats in his last 10 matches.
In his post-match press conference, a prickly Hughes defended his team selection at Chelsea, claiming most of his calls were based on players being unavailable, before taking no more questions and storming out.
He said: "I made the changes as I had four defenders fit. That's all the players I had - that was the back four irrespective who I played in front of them.
"I had eight internationals involved that day - I had players that hadn't played for a while, they needed games.
"If we were closer to Chelsea in the second half, the guys that missed out, they would have played a part. As it was the game had gone away - that was the situation. Would you have done different? You would have played two strong teams?"
Despite calls from the home fans for Hughes to walk away, he remains confident in his ability to turn Stoke's fortunes around.
When asked if he fears the sack, Hughes replied: "That's not my decision - I know what I feel. We've got a group of players that are playing with a lack of confidence. When that happens their ability to make key decisions becomes tough.
"We're not overwhelmed by it - we've got to make sure we pick ourselves up."