sport

Hughes wants new recruits

Stoke manager Mark Hughes claims he has been gazumped on several occasions in his bid to bring in new players to boost his squad.

Shane Long is one example of a player that was linked with Stoke only to join another club, the forward joining Hull from West Brom, and Hughes admits he has missed out on a number of targets.

"We felt we were close on a number of occasions prior to the window opening and we thought we would get our business done very quickly," he said.

"You get close then all of a sudden you wake up one morning and you find the deal you think is on the table has gone somewhere else.

"So that's happened to us on a number of occasions."

Stoke have signed Stephen Ireland on a permanent deal this month to allow Manchester City's John Guidetti to join the club on a loan deal.

Hughes expects the Sweden forward to grow in confidence in the coming weeks, but does not want the additions to end there.

"We're still in the mix for a number of players," he said.

"Given we haven't been able to get too many over the line we've done a good bit of business in terms of Stephen signing permanently, and that's allowed John to come in and we're pleased with that.

"But we still need a little more in that final third, to give us a bit of impetus and a bit of pace to really force teams."