Senior Stoke players back embattled boss Hughes

Senior Stoke players back embattled boss Hughes
Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Stoke City - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - December 12, 2017 Stoke City manager Mark Hughes reacts Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
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(Reuters) – Stoke City’s long-serving defenders Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron have backed under-pressure manager Mark Hughes to turn things around at the struggling Premier League club.

A section of Stoke supporters have called for Hughes to be sacked following a woeful run of results with Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Burnley marking the side’s fourth loss in five games to leave them two points above the relegation zone in 15th.

“There is a lot of pressure. That’s the game we’re in and the manager knows it. He knows we need results. If we stick together as we have done over the years then it helps a lot,” captain Shawcross was quoted as saying by the Stoke Sentinel.

“We know he’s a quality manager, we believe in him… I think he’s been one of the most successful managers we’ve ever had as a club.”

Hughes joined Stoke in 2013 and led the team to three consecutive top-half finishes but the club ended last season in 13th place and have won just four of their 17 league games this campaign.

“It’s tough to describe. We’re disappointed, frustrated… People have been saying ‘Hughes Out’, we know, but no — when you see what he has done for the club he’s a great manager,” Cameron said.

“We’re going through a rough patch but we have to stick together. As players we have to get good results, we have to work as hard… If we have that same attitude that we had on Tuesday night we will turn things around, for sure.”

Stoke host fellow strugglers West Ham United, who are two points behind in 19th, on Saturday.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)

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