Hughes deflects blame away from Butland

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has deflected blame away from goalkeeper Jack Butland following his spell on loan at Leeds United.

The 21-year-old played 16 matches on a temporary basis at Elland Road, conceding 28 goals as Brian McDermott's side struggled for consistency and eventually finished 15th in the Championship.

And Hughes came out in defence of his keeper, claiming that Leeds' struggles were not down to Butland.

"He's had plenty to do, but that was the intention, and that's why we also sent him to Barnsley earlier on in the season," he told the Stoke Sentinel.

"Leeds obviously have expectations and high demands on their players and that's what he will also get here in the Premier League, so it was important for him to play where there was that level of expectation.

"I have looked at the goals and you can't lay them at his door.

"He's still learning and it's been a difficult run for Leeds, but that's certainly not as a consequence of Jack."