Date: 12th July 2017 at 4:03am
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Manager Mark Hughes has spoken of his pleasure at seeing Stoke City pick up victory in their opening pre season friendly of the summer against Neuchatel Xamax.

Stoke helped themselves to a one nil victory courtesy of an own goal in the opening fixture of the 2017 Uhrencup tie at the Tissot Arena on Monday and with only five days of training under our belts, having had a fortnight of training time the opposition certainly put us through our paces and that was exactly what Hughes had been hoping for.

An 87th minute own goal from Mustafa Sejmenovic game us the victory and Hughes took the opportunity to play two difference elevens in each half to get a solid 45 minutes of game time into as many players as he could.

With speculation about Marko Arnautovic apparently putting in a written transfer request – with Stoke confirming we’ve rejected an offer for him – many fans will be pleased to see him start the game.

Stoke City First Half:

Butland, Bardsley (Edwards 19), Shawcross (C), Sweeney, Pieters, Adam, Jarvis, Arnautovic, Bojan, Telford, Berahino.

Stoke City Second Half:

Haugaard, Johnson, Wollscheid, Souttar, Tymon, Muniesa, Imbula, Ngoy, Shenton (Campbell 80), Verlinden, Crouch.

Speaking to the Official Website following the game, a pleased Hughes explained.

‘We mixed it up tonight with some young guns and some more senior lads, and I think that was the right thing to do. We had the strength that we needed tonight, because although it was a friendly we still wanted to take it seriously and take something out of it.’

With the opposition being ahead of us in their pre season work, Hughes admitted that you could see that at points in the game but being tested that’s something that will bring us on more quickly.

‘They had already played a couple of matches so they are ahead of us, and you could see that on occasions, but we will get stronger and it won`t take long until we are up to speed. I thought we approached it the right way, we tried to make things happen and that is a real positive considering we are only three or four days into our pre-season. We are just getting started, and it is all about getting the minutes on the pitch, getting the timing of your play right and I saw quite a bit of that tonight which is satisfying.’

He ended by saying.

‘It certainly does no harm getting a win under our belts neither and I think we deserved it to be honest, although they had quite a bit of possession – but weren`t really ever able to trouble us.’

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