Monday 23 April 2018

Mark Hughes slams Deeney for his part in melee

Watford 0 Stoke City 1

Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross clashes with Watford's Jose Holebas and Troy Deeney. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters
Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross clashes with Watford's Jose Holebas and Troy Deeney. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Stoke manager Mark Hughes slammed Troy Deeney after the Watford captain sparked a late melee in his side's defeat to the Potters.

In stoppage time, Stoke put the ball out of play after a player went down injured, but rather than pass the ball back, Deeney appeared to attempt a cross into the visitors' penalty area.

Joe Allen reacted angrily, but found himself being grabbed by the face by the burly Hornets striker as players from both sides squared up for a second time.

Deeney and Allen were booked, but Stoke boss Hughes was less than impressed by Deeney's conduct and suggested he should face further action.

Stoke City's Ramadan Sobhi (left) and Watford's Kiko Femenia (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA
Stoke City's Ramadan Sobhi (left) and Watford's Kiko Femenia (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA

"I thought it was a bit unnecessary, if truthful," he said. "Clearly, we kicked the ball out and the right thing to do in the spirit of the game is throw it back.

"Deeney, the captain of the club, should know better, but he shaped to play it into our box and that's why Joe reacted.

"I've seen pictures of raised hands and thumbnails in faces, which is totally unnecessary. Maybe other people will look at that.

"More often than not, those situations get revisited by people in authority and decisions are made as a consequence."

The incident overshadowed a first Stoke goal for Darren Fletcher, which secured a first away win of the season for Hughes. It was a strike reminiscent of those Hughes used to put away in his pomp, as the midfielder met Xherdan Shaqiri's corner with a crisp volley from the edge of the area.

Watford should have equalised, but Brazilian winger Richarlison lashed a shot into the side-netting and headed wide from close range.

Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure (left) Stoke City's Darren Fletcher (right) battle for the ball during the match. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA
Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure (left) Stoke City's Darren Fletcher (right) battle for the ball during the match. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA

He was not the only one guilty of wasting chances, though. Stoke sub Saido Berahino missed a one-on-one, and Charlie Adam aimed for an empty net, but hit a post after Hornets keeper Heurelho Gomes had gone up for a corner.

Hornets boss Marco Silva felt the game was won and lost in the first half.

He said: "We gave our opponents a 45-minute advantage and during those 45 minutes, we gave them a big gift with the goal we conceded.

"We weren't competitive in that moment, we lost our focus and they scored a good goal. In the second half, we created chances, but we missed them."

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