Sunderland 2-0 Stoke City: Hughes criticises officials following defeat

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes heavily criticised referee Mike Dean's controversial decision to send Ryan Shawcross off in the Potters' 2-0 defeat against Sunderland on Saturday.

'Key decisions cost us' - Hughes

Hughes believes a number of "key moments" went against his side, including the decision to send Ryan Shawcross off for two bookable offences in the 47th minute.

The Stoke captain was booked just before half-time after tripping Steven Fletcher. Shawcross was then shown a second yellow card two minutes into the second-half for a foul on Duncan Watmore.

However, Hughes believes Dean should have shown "common sense" and given Shawcross the "benefit of the doubt" after replays appeared to show that the centre-back got a touch on the ball.

Hughes also bemoaned the decision to award Sunderland the free-kick, which Patrick van Aanholt scored the Black Cats' opening goal from, with the Stoke boss saying the offcials got it "totally wrong".

Patrick van Aanholt put Sunderland into a 1-0 lead in the 81st minute.
Patrick van Aanholt scored Sunderland's opening goal in the 81st minute. (Image: Getty Images)

The Stoke boss believes that Adam Johnson "dived" to jump out of what Hughes described as a "non-tackle" and the decision to then book Stoke left-back Erik Pieters was "totally wrong".

Shawcross' sending-off was pivotal

Hughes said that, although Stoke "didn't play particularly well", once the sending off occurred it was always going to be "difficult" for his side to get a result at the Stadium on Light.

The Stoke boss had seen his side have the better chances of the first-half, with Charlie Adam and Jonathan Walters going close, but Hughes said that if Stoke had scored first then he believed that it would have been a "more successful afternoon" for the Potters.

Shawcross was sent-off in the 47th minute for two bookable offences.
Ryan Shawcross was sent-off for two bookable offences in the 47th minute. (Image: Reuters)

Hughes said that he and the players know that they can "play better" than they did against Sunderland, but added that it is now about how Stoke respond and "more often than not we bounce back from a situation like this".

The Potters will be hoping that they bounce back on Tuesday evening when they entertain Sky Bet Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup quarter-final.