What on earth can be found to be said for this game, all I can add is that events at the JW Stadium may have had a bigger meaning for City than what their efforts did in the Potteries.
Spurs grabbing a point courtesy of an own goal, may just play a bigger part in City's survival.
City didn't have the luxury of a Stoke player getting anywhere near helping them out with an own goal, but O boy a helping hand was sorely needed. Another total failure to record a single shot on target, a game which in the end of season scrap was a vital.
It was clear once again Hughton's goal was not to lose before anything else, trying to hold Stoke, stop them from scoring and seemingly not bother to try and score yourself. When things go wrong with this negative style, ie. the opposition not reading the script and grabbing a goal, it is harder to get back into the game. This isn't the first time he has come unstuck going this way, and I have no doubts he will come unstuck time and time again.
We are really quite bad again, we cannot muster a single effort against a team that cannot be classed as one of the better sides, just a repeat of the Wigan game a few weeks ago. Thast is two of the sides struggling at the wrong end of the table and we cannot even get a fecking shot on target.
For me the level of Hughton's defensive mindset is shown in a simple way; when defending corners, we have everybody back in the area, nobody left standing midway or near the half way line. No defender or two are made to stay back, nor can we pick up any clearences. I have seen time and time again the ball is cleared from the area only to come straight back at us, never taking the pressure off.
True today, changes were made to try and get back into the game but as usual they come far too late to do anything, but why change a winning side in the first place.
One of the biggest failings of this management team has been the slowness in attempting to change a game from the bench along with seemingly having no plan B or C to fall back on. I have heard some people have doubted that they have a plan A to start with. One of the biggest failings in my opinion is playing too many games with a defensive mindset, worrying more about not losing than winning a game, this rubs off on the players and becomes hard to break out of. The the players hear their manager bigging up the opposition before a game, and saying very little about them, his own players.
I have heard people calling for Hughton's head, while it could be easy to jump on that bandwagon after the effort seen today, but with only 3 games left to go, what good would it do ? If we are relegated ( I am doubtful we will be) then that would be another argument totally, plus if we start next season in the same vein a limited number of games would need to be given before makling that decision. If it does pan out that way, I for one will not be too disappointed to see Team Hughton depart.
I lay most the the blame for the way this season has panned out at Team Hughton's door, we know what the majority these players bring to the table, I believe it is going against the grain of these players to be ordered to play with such a negative system. It looks to me that there are some who are not happy with what they are being told to do after the attacking mind set they were encouraged to have before this regime came into town; it is no wonder they look frustrated and play accordingly.
We have three games left to go two at home and one away, I think we can forget about getting anything much from the last game at Manchester City , it is these two home games, against Villa and WBA is where next season's destination lays.
We need to see a hell of a lot more from the Manager and his team, than we saw today. Or the unthinkable will be a reality.