Hughes admitted selecting a team with an eye on their clash with Newcastle United.
“That's their decision," he said of Stoke fans pictured leaving Stamford Bridge early. “That doesn't help us. We would love them to stay and get behind us and hope for a change in fortune, but at 2-0 could we see a way back? Probably not.
“It's probably an honest decision from them, but if they've paid their money you'd think they'd stay to the conclusion, but I'd never criticise our fans who turned out in numbers again.