Hughes: Stoke still ‘very much in this tie’

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes insists that his team can recover from a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

Jordon Ibe struck for the Reds in the first leg at Britannia Stadium, but the Potters can still reach the final when they head to Anfield for the second leg three weeks later.

"As it is, it's just one goal and we're very much in this tie," Hughes said. "People might want to criticise what we did in the first half but sometimes you have to credit the opposition.

"They restricted what we wanted to do in terms of getting people around the ball and restricting space and they did that to good effect and we had to improve in the second half.

"It's exactly the same as what we do when we have a game plan where we impose our tactics on the opposition and that's what they did to us.

"They had the benefit of the goal which in semi-finals is key and as a consequence of the goal they could drop deeper and protect a bit more.

"We recognised they had players out of position at the back and we made a change ourselves and went more direct in the second half. When you do that you need something to fall for you and tonight we didn't get that.

"We dominated the second half in terms of possession but on the night we weren't able to get that break. The key from our point of view is that we didn't concede again and the danger was that if we over committed and conceded another one that would have been a huge task to go to Anfield and claw it back."

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