Etherington admits he himself prefers to play more football, but stressed that Stoke played far more football than they were credited with under Tony Pulis.
"He (Hughes) is trying to get us to play more expansive, but it's not going to happen overnight and we are a bit inconsistent at the minute," said Etherington to The Sentinel.
"He wants us to play out from the back and encourages the centre halves to split and the full backs to push on.
"Ryan has got more ability than people realise."
But he conceded: "We are a little bit too open, I think, but it's finding that happy medium and I'm sure we will.
"I think we will be fine and it will be a good season."
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