Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Mark Hughes: Mourinho handshake snub was both something and nothing

Mark Hughes, pictured right, feels too much was made of his spat with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, left
Mark Hughes, pictured right, feels too much was made of his spat with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, left

Stoke manager Mark Hughes feels too much has been made of a snubbed handshake between him and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, which was "something and nothing".

United dropped Premier League points for the first time this season after Stoke battled to a 2-2 draw at the bet365 Stadium last weekend.

Mourinho felt the Potters had adopted defensive tactics, a claim Hughes refuted, and at one point during the game the Portuguese coach was pushed by the Stoke boss when he entered his technical area.

After the final whistle the pair did not shake hands - Hughes has previously experienced snubs from the likes of Tony Pulis and Arsene Wenger.

While Hughes subsequently accused Mourinho of taking the result poorly, the United boss was keen to stress he was not in the wrong when asked about the incident during a BBC flash interview, saying: "It makes it look like it's my fault, but that's not right.''

Hughes takes his side to Newcastle on Saturday looking to build some momentum on the back of a four-match unbeaten run which followed defeat to Everton on the opening weekend.

The Stoke boss, who enjoyed a successful spell with United as a player, was keen to play down the incident with Mourinho when the issued was raised again during a pre-match press conference

"Handshakes are neither here nor there," Hughes said. "It is what it is, we should move on.

"But I think maybe after the game the media department at Man United switched on to 'full mode' and got involved and didn't do Jose any favours, to be perfectly honest, so we will move on I think.

" Too much was highlighted after the game by their media department with a view to maybe cementing Jose's position, but I think they did him a disservice, really.

"Yes I was showing emotion. Jose was showing emotion. The cameras are on you. Truth be known, we are part of the show aren't we?

"It is what it is, as long as it doesn't step over the line, which I didn't think it did at the weekend.

"It was neither here nor there. We have all moved on, it was something and nothing."

After suffering two defeats on their return to the top flight, Newcastle have now recorded back-to-back Premier League wins.

Hughes, though, feels his side, who beat Arsenal 1-0 at home and also drew at West Brom, should head to the North East confident about their own form.

"We are really pleased with how we have started. We look really bright in our work and performed well against very good sides," he said.

"We have a really good platform in terms of our defensive work and congratulations must to go to all the players for the solidity we have shown."

Hughes added: "We are in good heart, we had a great performance against Manchester United last time out and all in all are in decent shape to go up there."

Press Association

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