Stoke City boss Mark Hughes accuses referees of bias

Mark Hughes was sent to the stands after the first half of Stoke's match-up against Tottenham Hotspur.

By: Reuters | London | Published:September 12, 2016 5:33 pm
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is sent to the stands by referee Anthony Taylor for shouting at the Tottenham Hotspur fans during their English Premier League soccer match at The Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Dave Thompson/PA via AP) Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is sent to the stands by referee Anthony Taylor for shouting at the Tottenham Hotspur fans during their English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur. (AP Photo)

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has accused Premier League match officials of being especially harsh on his team after being sent off during Saturday’s 4-0 thumping by Tottenham Hotspur. Hughes was sent to the stands in the first half after leaving the technical area as Stoke, who have one point from their opening four league games, remain rooted to the bottom of the standings.

“They seem to be vigilant and more of a stickler for the rules when Stoke City are involved. The people who need to know how I feel have been told already, this season and in previous seasons,” Hughes told British media. “This season I’ve been told about the new directives and I should have known better but emotion gets the better of you sometimes and that’s why I reacted.” Hughes referred to Saturday’s Manchester derby to prove his point.

“I watched the Manchester derby it was a very good, passionate game. There was emotion on the sidelines. At one point I saw one of the managers step on the pitch and nothing was done about that,” Hughes added, “Clearly I went out of the technical area and they spotted that.” Stoke visit Crystal Palace in the league on Sunday.

Hughes’ Stoke City have endured a tough start to the season. Out of the four matches that they’ve played, Stoke have lost three and drawn just one; yet to register a single victory, and sit at the bottom of the table with just one point in four games. With Saturday’s drubbing at the hands of the rampant Spurs, Stoke have now conceded 10 goals in four matches, with an average of more than three goals a game.