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Hughes happy to go with Catalan plaudits for Stoke

Mark Hughes is not about to shy away from a new-found interest in the Stoke City Football Club.


The Potters' 2-0 win over Manchester City on Saturday, along with some other impressive performances this season, has piqued the interest of the Catalan region of Spain with one newspaper, La Vanguardia, even dubbing the club 'Stokealona' in reference to the fact they have two former Barcelona players in Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay.

Stoke's style of play under Hughes has changed drastically to what most of us know the Staffordshire club for and the Welshman admits the the perception of the Britannia Stadium outfit was beginning to change.

"There is an obvious interest in what we're doing here, what with the Catalan connection.

"They have great affection for Bojan, who they see very much as one of their own, so they are really pleased when he is doing well and, as a consequence, when we are doing well.

"Compliments are fine when they are deserved, and arguably they were, given the level of performance.

"So we will take them, although it probably doesn't sit too comfortably with us at the moment because we are not used to it!"

Hughes, who played in the 1980s, was then asked if the awareness of Stoke had changed since he arrived: "I think that's probably right.

"It has been two and a half years of a lot of work and the players deserve all the credit, because it was not an easy change we have tried to do.

"When I got the job, I recognised very quickly I had a good group of players with the potential to maybe play in a slightly different way and still be successful."


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Andrew Slevison
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