(Reuters) - Stoke City must be wary of the impressive array of Liverpool’s attacking talent and not just focus on Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah when the two sides meet on Wednesday, manager Mark Hughes said.
Salah has netted 15 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for Juergen Klopp’s side this season, including the opening strike in Saturday’s 1-1 league draw with Chelsea at Anfield.
However, Hughes is more concerned about Liverpool’s high tempo game which has allowed their front line to contribute 25 goals over 13 league games this season.
“We are facing a player in Mohamed Salah who is clearly in the best form of his Liverpool career,” Hughes told reporters. “He has real technical quality and crucially, pace.
“But we can’t be overly concerned with one player though because they have match winners all over the pitch. We need to nullify them on Wednesday.
“With the way that they play, high tempo and high pressing, then sometimes defenders are going to be exposed. Some people will interpret that as poor defending, but a lot of the time that isn’t the case.”
A 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace on Saturday meant Stoke remained 15th in the league on 13 points, just three clear of the relegation zone.
Hughes acknowledged sloppy errors have cost Stoke this season but was still hopeful of returning to the top-half of the standings.
“I thought we played well on Saturday but clearly the goals shape how people feel we did on the day. We need to cut the errors out,” added Hughes.
“There seems to have been negativity since the start of the season really, and we can only dissipate that by winning games. I really don’t think we are too away from establishing ourselves in the top half of the league.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty