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FA Cup misery could be a blessing says under-fire Hughes


London (AFP) – Stoke manager Mark Hughes claimed his side’s embarrassing FA Cup third round defeat at minnows Coventry City could be a blessing in disguise, even though it left him in severe danger of the sack.

Hughes’ 200th game in charge of Stoke could prove to be his last after Jack Grimmer’s second half strike gave fourth tier Coventry a 2-1 win at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

Yet the former Manchester City manager is hopeful he will be given more time to lift Stoke out of the relegation zone, with the Cup defeat ideally serving as a wake-up call to his players.

“The fact we’ve gone out, even if it’s a little bit raw at the moment, might help us,” he said.

Charlie Adam had equalised with a 54th-minute penalty after Jordan Willis opened the scoring for Coventry, who savoured one of their best FA Cup moments since winning the competition in 1987.

It left Hughes clinging to his job after the Stoke board considered his future in the week, with the team mired in a battle for their Premier League survival.

“At the moment we don’t want to discuss Premier League games but maybe when we wake up on Monday the reality clearly has to be our league form.

“Has it changed anything (his future) markedly from this afternoon? Is it any different from the situation after the Newcastle game? I don’t think it is. It just highlights we need to do better.

“But in the long term, certainly until the end of the season, it might be a blessing for us.”

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