Posted on January 21, 2016
Mark Hughes says that he is taking the positives after his Stoke City only narrowly were defeated by Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final on Tuesday night.
This was a major opportunity for Stoke to display their improvement under the former Blackburn manager. They came close to winning the FA Cup recently. However, adding a trophy for the first time under Hughes will be a memorable achievement. It has been made difficult by the first leg loss against Liverpool. Despite having some good opportunities to score in the 90 minutes, the game finished as a 1-0 loss for the underdogs.
Stoke City are usually strong at home and Hughes will be disappointed not to take advantage of the first leg. The return leg will be at Anfield where Stoke need to produce a great performance in order to reach the final. The League Cup is taken more seriously by teams lower in the league table since it offers them a great opportunity to win a major trophy. Jordon Ibe’s goal in the 37th minute was enough to separate the two teams. However, Liverpool are likely to be without Dejan Lovren and Philippe Coutinho for the return leg after the duo suffered hamstring injuries.
They both are important players and their absence will be felt in the second leg.”In the first half we found it difficult to play our game. Second half they had the benefit of the goal, so they could play on the counter attack, get people behind the ball and make it difficult for us.But we dominated the second half, we just needed that break and the ball to run for us. We had a couple of chances that on another day might have fallen for us but we are still very much in the tie. We are not too despondent,” Hughes told Sky Sports.