Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is heading into Saturday’s clash against struggling Chelsea with the sole focus on his own team.
“What happens to Chelsea isn’t our priority – we only worry about ourselves,” Hughes told stokecityfc.com during the pregame press conference.
“Whilst we’ll work to beat Chelsea, we know they’re a good side despite the fact that they’re getting a lot of criticism.
“I’ve said before that most top players and managers react to situations like that and at some point I’m sure their season will turn around.
“We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen tomorrow evening. Once the game starts that’s when our focus really narrows.
“They’ve not become a bad side overnight, they’re just searching for their top form and given their success it comes into focus a bit more readily.”
Stoke, sitting right above Chelsea in the Premier League standings in 14th place, already beat Chelsea ones this year in the Capital One Cup in a penalty shootout about two weeks ago.
“[Chelsea] put in one of their better performances against us but we played well and came through it,” Hughes said.
“They followed it up with a win in the Champions League so maybe you’d argue their current form has gone their way, but results haven’t gone for them.
“Eventually they will go for you but we’ll have something to say about that tomorrow. We have the benefit of the emotions from that night and we had to work really hard for the result.
“Those emotions and feelings and still there so we can use them to our benefit. We know how hard we’ll have to work but we know we’re capable of that and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’re not in bad shape but we need to improve our home form we did that against Chelsea a couple of weeks ago.
“They have individuals that can turn the game towards them and you’re always aware of that.”