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Chelsea no worse than other teams when it comes to diving - Hughes

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Mark Hughes' Stoke host Chelsea on Monday

Mark Hughes' Stoke host Chelsea on Monday

Mark Hughes' Stoke host Chelsea on Monday

Stoke manager Mark Hughes feels Chelsea are no worse offenders than any other side when it comes to diving.

When Hughes, whose 12th-placed team are table-topping Chelsea's opponents tonight at the Britannia Stadium, was asked if he thought the Blues were particularly guilty of diving, he said: "No - they are no worse than anyone else in my view."

Ex-Chelsea striker Hughes admitted referees currently have a tough task on their hands trying to distinguish between incidents where a "soft" foul has been committed and where there has been no contact, with a player going down deliberately.

At the same time, though, the Welshman does not regard simulation as "a problem right through the game".

Hughes said of the diving debate sparked by last weekend's incidents: "There is a focus almost every week, and more often than not it changes from one week to the next.

"An incident in a game will be highlighted and people will surmise there is a problem right through the game, but I don't think that is the case.

"I think there will always be players maybe anticipating tackles coming in, and when a defender doesn't, then that can lead to embarrassing situations for the people involved because it looks like they are trying to gain an advantage.

"It is important that if somebody is fouled, the right decision is made, even if it is a soft foul - a correct decision is a foul, or a penalty. That is not simulation in my view.

"So it is about getting the right decisions from referees, although it is not easy for them to deal with.

"I think more and more these days there is more skill in it, with players prepared to go down to gain an advantage even when there has been absolutely no contact whatsoever - that is incorrect, and should not happen."

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