Date: 9th January 2018 at 4:59pm
Written by:

Stoke City skipper Ryan Shawcross has paid tribute to outgoing manager Mark Hughes following his sacking after our FA Cup exit to League Two Coventry City.

With poor form and results so far this season, Shawcross told the Official Website.

‘First of all, it was very disappointing to lose the game and exit the FA Cup because that is a competition we were all desperate to do well in. Obviously following that the manager was asked to step down, which is sad because Mark Hughes has been a huge part of a great story over the last few years. Some of the performances we produced under him were fantastic, obviously the 6-1 win over Liverpool springs to mind as well as finishing in ninth place in the Premier League three years in succession. Ultimately though, the manager knows that it is a results driven business and unfortunately he has lost his job because of the way things have gone this season.’

Shawcross went on to say of the former gaffer.

‘I just have to say thank you on behalf of all the playing staff and the staff at the training ground for the job that he and his staff have done here.’

With Shawcross hoping to make a return for the televised trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, he admitted the players had to step up and called on the supporters to help up the ante as we go in search of better form.

‘We need the supporters behind us too, we need them to really help us out now over the next few months. If we can get that bear pit atmosphere back again then that will help us, it will intimidate other teams which can only be a good thing for us. The fans have been disappointed by the way things have gone this season, and so are we, but if we can all stick together and come through this then we will be stronger because of it.’

As for players, he knew a blame game benefited nobody, but everyone had to look at themselves in a mirror.

‘I think we all have to look at ourselves in the mirror. As players we haven`t performed well enough, maybe the manager will look back at things and be disappointed too. It isn`t a blame game but there are obviously a lot of things that need to change if we are to move into a better place in the table.’

Adding.

‘Thankfully we are far from adrift – we are five points from tenth place so there are positives there for us to take. The next week or so, leading in to the Manchester United game, is huge for us and we really need to have a look at ourselves. Have we been doing enough as a group? Probably not, so we have to rally around each other now, get together, stand up and produce the performances that are going to keep us in the Premier League.’

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