January 5, 2018 / 6:50 AM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Hughes eyes transfers despite uncertainty over Stoke future

(Reuters) - Stoke City boss Mark Hughes sought no assurances over his future at the club and remains focused on improving the squad in the January transfer window.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Newcastle United - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - January 1, 2018 Stoke City manager Mark Hughes Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine/Files

According to multiple reports in the British media, Hughes’ position is under review after Stoke dropped into the Premier League relegation zone having lost five of their last seven matches.

The 54-year-old Welshman took part in a scheduled meeting with Stoke’s chairman Peter Coates on Thursday but said the discussions were centred around transfer activity in the current window.

“Why would I seek reassurance? I don’t need it,” Hughes told reporters. “I did not attempt to ask about my future.

“I went there with the sole purpose of getting an understanding of what we’re doing in January and that’s what I got. It was a good meeting and one we can move forward from.

“I don’t know what they are thinking. Maybe you guys are suggesting we are in a different moment, a different place now, but in terms of the communication I have with the owners and they have with me, that hasn’t changed.”

Hughes joined Stoke in 2013 and led the team to three consecutive ninth-place finishes in the league before the club ended last season 13th.

Stoke have collected 20 points from 22 matches this season — their worst points haul at this stage in the top-flight campaign since 1984-85, but Hughes has no doubt the owners trust him to turn around the club’s fortunes.

“I would be disappointed if they weren’t upfront and honest. That’s the type of people they are,” Hughes added.

“It’s a difficult situation for everyone. They don’t want their team and appointments to fail. They back good people with ability and let them get on with the job. That’s what they have always done.”

Stoke visit Coventry City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday before travelling to Old Trafford to play second-placed Manchester United in the league on Jan. 15.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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