Mark Hughes says that he sometimes wonders ‘how and why Newcastle are where they are’.

Funnily enough, a lot of Newcastle supporters often think that as well!

With Newcastle’s dismal record, especially away from home (lost the last six and lost 11 of 14 all season), Mark Hughes says that he hopes to ‘take advantage of ay lack of confidence’.

The last thing we need is for Stoke to build up confidence and a head of steam due to Steve McClaren handing easy possession and dominance to them as some kind of daft trying to hit them on the break tactic, something which has consistently backfired in games such as Everton away and many others.

Stoke have made a habit of beating the relegation candidates and added a win over Villa at the weekend to the previous one over Bournemouth.

Let’s hope they don’t add another to the list on Wednesday, or at least they don’t do it without having a real fight for it first.

Mark Hughes:

“It might take them a little bit of time to get going or they may be really refreshed and raring to go, we just don’t know.

“We have always seemed to reap the benefits of a break away, so we will see how they shape up tomorrow.

“They are struggling for confidence and their away record isn’t that good, but every game is hard in the Premier League and we have to make sure we are ready.

“We picked up a good result at the weekend to back up our Bournemouth performance so we are in a good place.

“It will be a test for us because Newcastle are fighting for their lives and looking at their squad, you sometimes wonder how and why they are where they are.

“Obviously results dictate where you are going to be and at the moment they are struggling for good results, so we need to take advantage of any lack of confidence that they have.”