Saturday 18 November 2017

Hughes fury at Baggies over Berahino drug-ban leak

West Brom 1 Stoke City 0

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes. Photo: PA
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes. Photo: PA

Independent.ie newdesk

Stoke boss Mark Hughes expressed disappointment that news of Saido Berahino's two-month ban emerged on the eve of his return to West Brom as the fall-out over the striker's transfer continued.

The manager intimated he felt the Baggies allowed the news to break just two days before the Potters' 1-0 defeat at Albion on Saturday.

It was reported this week that Berahino tested positive for a recreational drug during his time at the Hawthorns, although neither club confirmed the reason for his ban, which he served between October and December.

Hughes maintained that Stoke were not made aware of the suspension by the Baggies during last month's transfer negotiations, which ended with Berahino moving to the bet365 Stadium for £12m.

He said: "There's some talk West Brom had made us fully aware of the situation but they didn't. We knew the situation anyway.

"We knew at some point it would come out but it's a disappointment. It's probably disappointing for West Brom too because clearly they were able to keep the issue discreetly under wraps for six or seven months and lo and behold two days before a game against his new club it comes out."

Hughes and Albion boss Tony Pulis also failed to shake hands before or after the game as the bad feeling between the managers continued.

That was about as much impact as Berahino - who made a disappointing substitute appearance - had on a match which was settled by James Morrison's early goal.

Morrison and Salomon Rondon could have extended the Baggies' lead while James McClean was denied by Lee Grant as Albion remained eighth in the table, pushing for a European place.

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