Hughes: Stoke will come back firing
Stoke boss Mark Hughes has warned Tottenham to beware his wounded side as they attempt to bounce back from a horror show at Newcastle.
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The Potters head for White Hart Lane still smarting from a dismal Boxing Day visit to Tyneside, where they were beaten 5-1 in highly controversial circumstances.
Indeed, such is their enduring anger over events at St James' Park, where midfielder Glenn Whelan and defender Marc Wilson were sent off inside three first-half minutes, chairman Peter Coates has indicated the club's intention to make an official complaint over referee Martin Atkinson's handling of the game.
In the meantime, Hughes, who has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after being sent to the stands for his reaction to Whelan's dismissal, faces the task of preparing his team for another tough assignment, but is sure of getting a response.
He told the club's official website, www.stokecityfc.com: "We are exasperated by the events of Boxing Day, but we have another game coming our way very quickly, which I think is a good thing for us.
"Obviously we will be without a few players now, but we still have players who have the quality to go to Tottenham and cause them a lot of problems.
"It is hugely disappointing to be here now with nothing to show for our performance against Newcastle, because I really thought that there was only one team that looked like winning that game when it was 11v11, and that was us.
"It does hurt and it isn't a fair reflection of the game on our players, but we will use our frustrations to our advantage and look to get the result we want in London on Sunday."
Hughes' confidence is founded on an opening half-hour or so at St James' during which the visitors took the game to their high-flying hosts and deservedly went ahead through Oussama Assaidi's fine 29th-minute strike.
But the rush of cards ruined their hopes of returning with something to show for their efforts and the Magpies brutally exploited their numerical disadvantage to run out comfortable winners.
Despite Thursday's defeat, which was their first in five attempts in the Barclays Premier League, Stoke remained in 10th place heading into the weekend's fixtures.
Sunday's opponents are currently two places, but 10 points better off, although they could only draw 1-1 at home to West Brom on Boxing Day and will be looking for more this time around to claw their way into the top six.
Whelan and Wilson are suspended as a result of their red cards at Newcastle, while first-choice keeper Asmir Begovic could be sidelined for up to six weeks after breaking a finger in training on Christmas Day.
Hughes said: "We will be without both of them. It's not ideal, but that is the way it is and we have to get on with it.
"They will miss this game, as will Asmir, who looks likely to be out for between four and six weeks.
"The match will more than likely come too soon for Robert [Huth] as well, so we will have to make a couple of changes to the team."
Veteran Thomas Sorensen deputised for Begovic against the Magpies and saved a Loic Remy penalty, although Jack Butland's return from his loan spell at Barnsley means Hughes has options.