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Mark Hughes focused on a Stoke victory

last updated Saturday 03rd May 2014, 10:11 AM

Stoke and former Fulham boss Mark Hughes
Stoke and former Fulham boss Mark Hughes won't be shedding too many tears if Stoke beat his old club at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

A Stoke win will shove Fulham towards relegation with just one game left to try to save their skins.

Hughes is not being hard-hearted, he insists, just looking out for Stoke's interests and that on-going search for four points to better their highest-ever Premier League total of 47.

"First and foremost, we are looking to get the job done and want the three points," says the Stoke boss.

"We've got an opportunity against Fulham to match our biggest-ever points total in the Premier League. That's our motivation. It's not about beating a team and making them go out of the league.

"I've got a lot of time for Fulham. It's a good club and we had a good season there. We got to eighth and I think that's their second highest position in the top flight."

Asked if he would celebrate a Stoke victory today, or keep his hands in his pockets, he replied: "Yes, if we win. It's the last home game of the season and we are hoping to put on a performance for our fans because they have been magnificent this year.

"My focus is solely on Stoke City. We've got to challenge ourselves to get as many points on the board as any Stoke team in the Premier League. That's my focus."

Hughes admits that the prospect of a top-half finish was never on the horizon for the biggest critics of the team with which he started the season.

One player not finishing his season in the right manner is skipper Ryan Shawcross after a controversial second yellow card against Spurs last week.

His red card and subsequent one-match ban deprives him of the rare honour of not only being an ever present, but also playing every minute of every league and cup game this season.

Marc Muniesa is likely to step inside to central defence after replacing Erik Pieters at left back last week, while the Dutchman will presumably re-claim his usual spot at left back.

Source The Stoke Sentinel
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