January 3, 2017 / 9:26 AM / 7 months ago

Defensive errors pulling down Stoke, says manager Hughes

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Britain Football Soccer - Stoke City v Leicester City - Premier League - bet365 Stadium - 17/12/16 Stoke City manager Mark Hughes looks dejected after the game Reuters / Anthony Devlin Livepic

(Reuters) - Stoke City must cut out their "catastrophic" mistakes in defence if they are to climb up the Premier League table, manager Mark Hughes has said.

Stoke, who are 15th in the table, conceded four goals for the fifth time this season in Saturday's loss to leaders Chelsea.

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They are winless in their last five matches in the league and will hope to tighten their leaky defence when they host 12th-placed Watford on Tuesday night.

"In key moments in games, defensively, we have to be a lot sounder than we are at the moment," Hughes told British media. "We're giving goals up too readily. We'll address that. A lot of the elements of our play, apart from that, are very good.

"We just need to revisit our thoughts and play as well as we know we can, but clearly take out the catastrophic errors."

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland has suffered a number of setbacks to his recovery and could miss the rest of the season due to an ankle injury he sustained while playing for England 10 months ago, added Hughes.

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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