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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

Tactics & Analysis
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Hughes sticking to principles at Stoke

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes will not bow to pressure from supporters to abandon his plans to remodel the side he took over from Tony Pulis.

Mark Hughes Stoke City v Fulham
Mark Hughes' Stoke have been struggling in recent weeks after a promising start.

Whittaker: Time to wield axe again

Hughes has made a difficult start to life at the Britannia Stadium and three successive defeats has left Stoke languishing in 16th place in the Premier League with fans asking questions over the club's change in style.

Pulis' replacement made bold statements about his desire to alter the footballing philosophy of the club when he was chosen as successor to his fellow Welshman in the summer.

Despite Hughes getting the full backing of the squad over the change in style, results have proved hard to come by and his assistant Mark Bowen has asked for patience.

"Just because the league table doesn't make fantastic reading at the moment, we are not going to change anything," Bowen said. "We believe this is the right way to play football and I don't think our fans would appreciate us changing now.

"We know there will be some wanting us to get up and at 'em and into the box, but week in, week out I think we are probably creating more chances than last year and are more pleasing on the eye.

"We believe in what we are doing and I believe the players do as well. Everybody realises when we came and were trying to change the style of play that there would be ups and downs, but the only downside in nine games so far has been the Norwich game and the first half against Crystal Palace.

"We are probably three points off where we want to be. Goalscoring is still a problem, but we are creating chances." Bowen says he is still monitoring fans' forums, win or lose, to gauge opinion.

"You do put your ear to what supporters are saying and I think the general consensus is they want more goals, as we do, but they also believe we are more entertaining and playing good football," he added.

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