Date: 24th April 2017 at 7:01am
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Manager Mark Hughes has reflected on Stoke City’s loss to Swansea City last weekend, and he knew the missed penalty was the turning point in the match.

Making the trip to the Liberty Stadium looking to build on victory over Hull City in the last match, Stoke ultimately went down two nil on the day but Hughes felt that had Marko Arnautovic’s effort from the penalty spot gone in and not been hammered over the bar, he felt Swansea’s position would’ve come into play and we would’ve gone on to gain victory.

As it was they went down the other end and made it two shortly after.

Speaking to the Official Website in his post game media interviews a disappointed Welshman explained.

‘Clearly from our point of view the game changed on the missing of the penalty midway through the second half – the was the match-defining moment. Had we managed to get back on level terms, which we should have done, then I am certain there would have been some anxiety within the stadium and I feel we could have gone on to take advantage of that.’

Hughes went on to say.

‘We were well in the ascendency at the point from my point of view, but the reality is we ballooned the penalty over the bar, they go down the other end of the field and score from a deflected shot that goes over Jack Butland. It is a hugely frustrating afternoon for us, we started far too slowly and allowed them to get a real foothold on the game, which I highlighted they would be looking to do to them before the game. You can talk until you are blue in the face but the guys have to go out there and do certain things better than they did this afternoon, so they know that they have to show a marked improvement next weekend.’

One clear positive from the game was the return of goalkeeper Jack Butland following his lengthy time out injured and Hughes was pleased to see him come through the 90 minutes.

‘We felt it was important to get some game time into Jack, and he has come through the game this afternoon which is a real positive for us. The decision to bring him into the side at the expense of Lee Grant, who has been exceptional for us, was purely down to the fact that we feel it is important to get Jack out on the field before the end of the season. He didn`t have a great deal to do today to be perfectly honest, but it was good to see him back out there and we feel he will benefit from this run in the team.’

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