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Hughes targets strong Stoke run to bounce back

Stoke suffered a first Premier League loss since October 26 on Saturday as Everton romped to a 4-0 victory at Goodison Park.

However, Hughes' men have the opportunity to quickly recover, with Wednesday's game against Cardiff City the first of two at the Britannia Stadium in four days.

Having overseen just one defeat on home soil - against Norwich City - this season, Hughes is hopeful his side can build some momentum ahead of the weekend visit of Chelsea. 

"We are disappointed with the scoreline against Everton," he said. "I said after the game it turned on a couple of minutes either side of the break. There are key moments in games when you have to be solid and 30 seconds before the break we were still very much in the game.

"Everton were better than us and deserved to win but the scoreline didn't make great reading. We'll get a response.

"We had four games unbeaten (in all competitions prior to the Everton game) and the onus on us now is to go on another run, continue to be strong at home.

"Cardiff are a hard-working side; we will have to match that, given we're the home side. If we do that, we can take it away from them."

Forward Jonathan Walters, who has made 103 consecutive league appearances for Stoke, has emerged as a doubt for the Cardiff clash.

However, there is an outside chance that Marko Arnautovic, who had initially been ruled out with a hamstring problem, could feature.

"Jonathan Walters is the only player from the weekend struggling," Hughes revealed.

"He's got a little problem with his thigh and so we have to check on that closer to the game, but apart from that I think we should be ok."

Regarding Arnautovic, Hughes added: "He is back up and running again now, but it is one where we will have to have another look at him.

"Realistically it will probably be a bit too soon for him, and Chelsea is the more viable option for him to return, but we will assess him and make a decision."