Mark Hughes: we believe Saido Berahino

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says he believes Saido Berahino’s claim that his drugs ban was a result of a spiked drink in a nightclub.

Hughes insists that the club have always known the background to the situation.

Berahino has told BBC Football Focus that his drink was spiked on a night out.

Earlier this season the former West Bromwich Albion forward was given an eight-week FA ban after he failed a drugs test but Hughes says the club have always been aware of the full story.

He said: “That has always been Saido’s stance and take on how the drug got into his system. There is no reason not to believe him.

“We knew from the outset when we first began speaking with Saido that that was his outset on the whole story.

“Maybe people will understand that this happens in this day and age and unfortunately I think that a lot of people have been the victim of that so that has always been his stance so we have no reason to disbelieve what he has said to us.”

Asked whether the Potters saw Berahino’s antics as a problem, he continued: “No not really. We are always trying to move on from things. It is just a little bit more meat on the bone from my point of view in terms of the actual situation and how it came about.

“It has happened in the past we are all moving on he is playing football once again and he is doing really well. He has played a big part in recent weeks in terms of playing good opposition.

“From our point of view we are looking to create more chances for him.

“Obviously coming up against Chelsea and Manchester City the chances are going to be at a premium but he has shown good intent and he was good in the behind closed doors game that we staged where he scored a hat-trick.

“These things will raise their head throughout his career, I am sure of that, but from our point of view it was something that we were aware of and Saido has been very clear to us with his message and to everyone who wants to listen.

“That is the top and bottom of it. It certainly doesn’t affect us moving forward.”

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