Hughes happy with attacking improvement

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is encouraged by the greater attacking threat his side are beginning to offer.

Finding regular goals has proved something of a recurring problem for Stoke ever since the club were promoted to the Premier League in 2008.

Yet Hughes feels improvement is being made, illustrated by a 2-2 draw at Southampton on Saturday that saw Stoke twice come from behind to grab a welcome away point.

Peter Odemwingie registered his first goal since arriving from Cardiff City last month and former Southampton striker Peter Crouch was also on target, with Charlie Adam providing the assist on each occasion.

Scotland midfielder Adam scored two goals last weekend as Stoke defeated Manchester United 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.

Reflecting on Stoke's recent efforts in the final third and Adam's defence-splitting pass for Odemwingie's goal, Hughes told the club's official website: "We all know what Charlie is capable of and what we've got now is a little bit of a difference in terms of an attacking threat.

"Peter Odemwingie has helped in that regard because he's an experienced Premier League player. We talked about exploiting that part of the game in terms of space in between the central defenders and full backs.

"Peter understood what was required and Charlie, given his range of passing, will always hit good movement, so it was good play from both of them for the first goal."

Hughes took heart from his side's overall showing at St Mary's Stadium.

"We had a fantastic result last weekend with our first win over Manchester United in 30-odd years and it would have been a real disappointment if we hadn't got something out of this game," added the Welshman.

"It's important that we get a run going and I was really, really pleased with what we produced.

"I felt we were the better side in the first half, albeit we went behind twice during that time. We showed great character and no little skill to get back on level terms and then in the second half both teams cancelled each other out.

"As an away team that's a good thing because we restricted a very good Southampton team, a side I've enjoyed watching this season, to very few clear-cut chances. That shows the quality of our performance."