Hughes hails 'fantastic' Stoke

Mark Hughes labelled Stoke City's ninth-placed Premier League finish as a "huge achievement".

An own goal from Gareth McAuley and a late strike from substitute Charlie Adam either side of Stephane Sessegnon's effort was enough to secure a 2-1 win for Hughes' side at The Hawthorns.

That gave Stoke their highest Premier League finish and points tally, with 50 points accumulated in a promising campaign for the Britannia Stadium outfit.

Hughes felt that the success was mainly down to the raising of the bar in terms of the club's ambitions.

"We talked at length at the beginning of the season about what we wanted to achieve," he told BBC Sport.

"Maybe some players thought we were being unrealistic because it was a big ask and at times at the start of the season it was a bit of a struggle.

"But in the second half of the season we've been fantastic in terms of understanding what was required. To get 50 points on the board in the hardest league in world football is a huge achievement for a club such as Stoke."

One area that Hughes is likely to look at in his preparations for next season is the club's record on the road, having watched his side record just three away wins all season.

They do, however, still boast a 100 per cent record at The Hawthorns in the Premier League.