By 90Min
December 10, 2017

Mark Hughes has admitted he was left stunned by Stoke City's second half capitulation at Spurs as they fell to a 5-1 defeat at Wembley.

The Welshman and his team trailed to a Ryan Shawcross own goal at the break as they gave themselves a fighting chance of staying in the contest, but surrendered four more goals as Spurs ran rampant in the second 45.

Speaking via the Stoke Sentinel in the wake of another bruising loss to Tottenham, Hughes claimed that there was no indication that his charges were about to ship four or more goals for the fourth time in a row against Mauricio Pochettino's side.

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He lamented: "In fairness, I didn't see the second-half performance coming. I thought first half we stuck at it and were unfortunate with a couple of deflections and they took the lead.

"But it cannot be about a 45 minute performance. Second half we conceded easy goals. At 3-0 down the game is clearly gone away from us and the guys needed to clear their heads, take their medicine and keep their shape.

"As it was, we got a little bit strung out, a little bit ragged and good teams like Spurs can pick you off - and that's what happened.

"If we can take any encouragement it's the first half, but the second half is clearly not acceptable.

"We made key errors, individually and collectively, and never recovered from them and with the quality Spurs have at the top end of the pitch, we couldn't cope."

Hughes also commented on suggestions that young full-back Tom Edwards is not ready for top flight football as the defender endured a nightmare afternoon in north London.

The 18-year-old was left up against Son Heung-Min and Ben Davies for the entire contest before he was subbed off in the second half, but Hughes defended his protege after another poor display.

He added: "Tom is a young player we have got a lot of trust in. I wouldn't have put him in if I didn't think he could handle it. He's been unfortunate again because the games I've picked him in have been Man City and Spurs away.

"Sometimes young players need an experience like this early in their career. He will have learned from it and we hope that helps his development, albeit that wasn't the intention before the game."

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