Stoke vs Newcastle: Mark Hughes understands Alan Pardew's position, but admits he needs to turn around results

The Magpies boss is under pressure to overturn results at St James' Park as they find themselves bottom of the Premier League

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The Independent Football

Stoke manager Mark Hughes understands how Alan Pardew must be feeling as he battles to keep his critics at bay, but also knows the only way the Newcastle manager can end the negativity is by turning around their current slump.

The Magpies are the visitors to the Britannia Stadium on Monday night and are without a win after five matches, with only Burnley below them in the Barclays Premier League table.

That run has prompted a barrage of abuse aimed at Pardew from Newcastle fans unhappy with the way the team has performed so far this season - and this year in general.

And Hughes, who repeatedly came under fire during his 18-month spell at Manchester City, feels there is too much expectation on managers at some clubs.

"A lot of people don't know the reason why certain things have occurred or why there hasn't been a good performance," said the Welshman.


"There are always other things people outside the immediate group don't know about and you know yourself you can't go out and say, 'well, these are the reasons'.

"So you have to protect yourself, your position and your club sometimes from situations and sometimes that's to the detriment of yourself.

"It's not easy because there is more focus on you as a club and you, as the figurehead in terms of football. It goes with the territory and you have to deal with it.

"The focus on big clubs is always there and the only way you can deal with it, to take that focus off you as a manager, is by winning football matches and if you don't there is a negative focus."

Hughes has also laughed off comments from City boss Manuel Pellegrini after he described the Potters as a "small team".

Pellegrini was left annoyed by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho's tactics in last Sunday's 1-1 draw between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Having been beaten at home by Stoke three weeks previously, the Chilean held up Chelsea and the Potters for comparison, seemingly belittling both clubs.

Describing the match with Chelsea, Pellegrini said: "It was very similar to the Stoke team, with a big team playing against a small team with very good players, trying to defend, trying to keep the score (0-0)."

However, Hughes said: "I think everybody understood what he meant.

"We didn't take any umbrage with it, as criticism of ourselves. It was more the Manchester City manager's take on how he thought one of the top teams went up against his side.

"On the day they were gracious in defeat, which sometimes doesn't happen with big clubs. But I felt we fully deserved the victory and they said so."

Hughes has no fresh injury concerns for the meeting with Newcastle, with only midfielder Jonathan Walters (calf) a doubt.