Saturday 21 April 2018

Hughes braced for Pool backlash

'Hughes acknowledges lightning is unlikely to strike twice'
'Hughes acknowledges lightning is unlikely to strike twice'

Liam Blackburn

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is expecting a Liverpool backlash at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

After the 6-1 hammering on the final day of last season, Hughes acknowledges lightning is unlikely to strike twice.

"I don't think there's too many of us that feel what happened in that game will be repeated," he said. "We'd like to think it would be but Liverpool will have a lot to say about it.

"At the beginning of the season expectations are always high for everybody, and no less so from a club of the stature of Liverpool. They'll be wanting to address that. It was certainly a blot on their copybook.

"I've heard their players talk about how they want to make sure that it doesn't happen again. The reverse of that is obviously we'll have something to say about that as well. We're hoping for a positive start to what we hope is going to be a very successful season."

Stoke finished ninth last term, with their best-ever Premier League points tally. Hughes has presided over two ninth-placed finishes since arriving at the helm. "We look to improve year on year. We've been able to do that and we want that to continue," he said.

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