​​Stoke City manager Mark Hughes stormed out of his press conference after the 1-0 loss to ​Newcastle United at The Bet365 Stadium on New Year's Day further increased pressure on his job.


Sparky was criticised for resting key players in the 5-0 drubbing at ​Chelsea to ensure his team were in a more favourable position to take on the Magpies, a game he was confident of winning.


When this was questioned in his post match press conference, he reacted angrily and exited promptly, cutting a frustrated figure.

Speaking to ​Sky Sports, he said: "I made the changes as I had four defenders fit. That's all the players I had - that was the back four irrespective who I played in front of them.


"I had eight internationals involved that day - I had players that hadn't played for a while, they needed games.

"If we were closer to Chelsea in the second half, the guys that missed out, they would have played a part. As it was the game had gone away - that was the situation. Would you have done different? You would have played two strong teams?"


The final whistle was met with a chorus of boos and chants of "Hughes out" partnered with banners of the same title, yet the Welshman remains confident he will keep his job despite calls for his sacking.

"That's not my decision - I know what I feel. We've got a group of players that are playing with a lack of confidence. When that happens their ability to make key decisions becomes tough. We're not overwhelmed by it - we've got to make sure we pick ourselves up."


Sparky has a tough fortnight ahead, with a trip to Coventry in the FA Cup where he may opt to field a weakened side again in risk of an upset, followed by a trip to his former club ​Manchester United in the Premier League where three points will be tough to come by.