Mark Hughes has dismissed calls for his removal as Stoke City boss after the club's 1-0 loss to Newcastle left them perched perilously close to the relegation zone.

Hughes insisted to BBC Sport that he was the 'best man' for the job despite the Staffordshire side falling to their fifth defeat in the past seven outings - a run of form which leaves them only two places above 18th position in the Premier League table.

Dissenting Stoke fans have angrily called on Stoke's board to relieve the Welshman of his duties at the Bet365 Stadium, but Hughes defiantly - egotistically even, perhaps - explained why there was no one better to haul the club out of this mess.


He remarked: "Who else is going to do it? In terms of the knowledge of the group and the progress in my time here, I'm the best person to do it.

"The players are frustrated, disappointed, but that's a consequence of the high standards that I've set here."

Stoke have won just five of their 22 league matches throughout the 2017/18 campaign, and their points haul of just 20 is their lowest in England's top flight for over 30 years.

The Potters were thrashed 5-0 away from home by reigning champions Chelsea on 30th December as Hughes opted to rest his best players for the home clash with Rafa Benitez's Magpies.

That decision proved a costly one, however, as the visitors left Stoke with all three points and supporters vented their frustration at Hughes' decision making pre-Newcastle.

Hughes, though, brazenly added that his side deserved something to show for their efforts and claimed that he had only done what any other manager would have done at this hectic time of year.

He said: "We knew it was an important game but we came up short. We deserved something out of it but we didn't get it.

"Everyone's saying that I gambled but I used the players that I had, what was I going to do? Risk players that had a big part to play today? Plenty of teams have made changes, everyone else is doing it."