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Nov 4, 2013

Hughes planning Stoke targets

Mark Hughes insists he is armed with all the information he needs ahead of the January transfer window and what could be a pivotal period in his post as Stoke City manager.

Mark Hughes was baffled by Stoke's poor performance against Norwich.
Hughes could bring in a number of recruits in January.

Hughes has taken time to assess the squad he inherited from Tony Pulis, while trying to implement his own style at the Britannia Stadium, but results have proved difficult to come by, with Stoke a single point above the bottom three.

Whittaker: Point gained

Stoke's 1-1 draw with Southampton leaves them without a home victory since August and a minority section of the support was heard booing at the final whistle, just days after chairman Peter Coates asked for patience from fans.

The fact that Asmir Begovic's freak goal made him the club's joint leading scorer in the Premier League this season is a clear indication of the need for Hughes to add more threat to his goal scoring department.

Stoke are among a number of clubs to have been linked with Nicklas Bendtner and are also awaiting the arrival of Juan Agudelo from MLS side New England Revolution on January 1 and Hughes knows what is needed to improve results.

Meetings with Coates and director of football Mark Cartwright are planned in the coming weeks and Hughes said: "I know what I have got in the building. We have had enough time now to assess everything and know where we are.

"We’re doing ok. Performance-wise I’ve been quite pleased with what we’ve produced. Against Southampton we didn’t perform as well as we have done, but I know we have to start producing more positive results.

"You think back to last weekend when we played really well and didn’t get anything out of the game. That is the way it can go."

Hughes has also responded to criticism that he is still not certain of his best side, after chopping and changing his midfield and attack since the start of the season, claiming that the rotation will continue to ensure his side can make it through the gruelling demands of a full season.

"It’s about making sure that on occasions it is horses for courses and you pick the right team and combination for whoever you’re playing,"said Hughes.

"The team I picked I thought would enable us to get something out of the game against Southampton and we did. Swansea next weekend it might be different personnel. Each game's different. It’s not a case of just picking one side and sticking with it.

"It’s difficult enough to navigate a whole Premier League season so we’re going to have to use all our resources."

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