Mark Hughes admits he has a headache trying to select his Stoke City matchday squad

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Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has admitted he has a headache selecting his starting eleven – and a tough time picking his bench as well.

Some big names, most noticeably club record signing Gianelli Imbula, have been left out of the matchday squad in recent weeks, and that is with the likes of Jack Butland, Glen Johnson, Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland all missing through injury.

“It’s not easy”, says Hughes.

“We have got a good group of players. Almost every one of the 25 are senior players and players who are expecting to play and have the ability to are having to be patient.

“The group as a whole are really strong at the moment and everybody is working hard because they know in football things change very quickly and they have to be ready.

“At work you have to train correctly every single day even when you are out of the team. You have to do the extra work at the right level also and if they don’t then when they will get an opportunity, which they will do, they won’t be able to make the impact that they should do.

Although not everybody is getting the amount of game time that they would like, the Welshman has praised the attitude of his squad ahead of Monday night’s game with Swansea at the bet365 Stadium.

“Every one of the group I have to say have been excellent.

“They understand that they just have to be patient at the moment and the team is playing well and winning games so it’s difficult to justify making changes.

“The guys out of the team are working hard though and that is important.”

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