Mark Hughes predicts Stoke City will score more goals this season

The former QPR boss replaced Tony Pulis over the summer

Mark Hughes expects Stoke to score more goals this season than last, whether or not he manages to sign more players.

The Potters struggled to find the net last term and consequently needed a late charge to pull away from relegation trouble.

Their final tally of 34 goals in the Barclays Premier League was bettered by every side with the exception of relegated QPR and was 52 fewer than champions Manchester United managed.

New manager Hughes wants to develop Stoke's style and creating more goalscoring opportunities is a priority.

Hughes said: "We will try to play in a different way.

"We have given hints of that in the pre-season games and I think people have been encouraged by that.

"A lack of goals was something that obviously hindered the team last year. It is fair to say we are trying to address that.

"It could be in the transfer market we address it, but we could address it by the manner of the work we have been doing on the training field in terms of allowing them more licence to get into good areas of the football field.

"That is what we are about, creating more chances in the final third."

Hughes has been linked with a move to sign QPR attacking midfielder Junior Hoilett on loan.

The 23-year-old Canada international was a youth-team player under Hughes at Blackburn before being taken to Loftus Road by the Welshman last year.

Hughes said: "Junior is a very good player and someone I have worked with before.

"We are not sure if he is available or not but obviously if we are able to bring players of that quality in we will try to do that."

Hughes' first test as Stoke boss comes as he takes his side to Liverpool on the opening day of the new season tomorrow.

The 49-year-old has work to do to win over sceptical fans and to ensure Stoke are not battling at the bottom end of the table but he is relishing the challenge.

He said: "I think everyone is ready for the kick-off now. The build-up has been gathering momentum.

"Liverpool away is not the easiest of starts but it is one we are looking forward to.

"We have done a lot of work leading into the game and now we are looking to execute what we have been trying to put into place.

"We are going to have a huge following - nearly 3,000 Stoke fans are going to be there - so it is going to be a great spectacle and hopefully a great game for us."

One player he will not have to contend with is Liverpool's controversial wantaway striker Luis Suarez, who is banned for the first six games of the season.

Suarez has been agitating for a move all summer but the Reds have refused to sell the Uruguayan.

Hughes was asked about that situation at his pre-match press conference and the presence of player-turned-pundit Robbie Savage in the room did not go unnoticed.

Savage controversially left Birmingham for Hughes' Blackburn in 2005.

"I might have had someone who has done it on my behalf," said Hughes with a smile, when asked if he had ever experienced such a situation in his career.

"You will always get players disenfranchised, they get their heads turned and you have to deal with that.

"It is not easy for managers. Sometimes you have to make a decision that is the best for the club and the group they are working with.

"I am sure Brendan (Rodgers) is managing it exceptionally well given the circumstances.

"We will have to see how that pans out but from my own selfish point of view I am pleased he (Suarez) is not involved."

Hughes has made two defensive signings this summer in Dutchman Erik Pieters and Spaniard Marc Muniesa.

Pieters, a 25-year-old left-back bought for £3million from PSV Eindhoven, said: "I spoke to the manager and he told me of his ambition to take this club to a higher level. That was really good for me.

"It was always been a dream for me as a young kid to play in the Premier League.

"I played for five years at PSV and I was looking for a new challenge.

"This opportunity came for me so it was not that hard."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own