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Hughes to be patient with Bojan

first_img The arrival of Bojan at the Britannia Stadium was seen as something of an unexpected coup for Potters boss Mark Hughes. At 23, the forward has played for Barcelona, Roma, AC Milan and Ajax but has too often struggled to deliver on his early promise. Stoke manager Mark Hughes is ready to be patient as he attempts to get the best out of summer signing Bojan Krkic. Nonetheless, he was welcomed as a potential game-changer by Stoke fans given his European pedigree. But, after playing 90 minutes in the defeat by Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, he was relegated to the bench for Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Hull. Hughes preferred a starting XI with more Barclays Premier League experience at the KC Stadium, with Peter Odemwingie and Marko Arnautovic supporting central striker Mame Diouf. Bojan was summoned shortly before half-time after an injury to Glenn Whelan and, though he was brushed aside with ease in the build-up to Hull’s opening goal, he went on to provide the key cross that led to Ryan Shawcross’ equaliser. Hughes admits his star signing was left out for tactical reasons but expects him to be at his best and making a case for regular selection soon. “The thinking with the team was that it was a difficult away fixture – a lot of teams come to Hull and struggle to get anything – so we just thought this was a situation where we needed to be nice and solid in midfield, with a strong, experienced middle three,” said Hughes. “At the moment we’re just trying to bring everyone up to the correct level, then shirts are up for grabs. “I was going to make a change in the second half anyway (before Whelan’s injury), we needed to take one of the defensive midfield players off and get Bojan on. “It was difficult to find him, we were a little bit out of sorts, but I thought he did okay. He showed glimpses of what he’ll give us this year.” Stoke might have left East Yorkshire with nothing, despite playing most of the game with a numerical advantage following James Chester’s 14th-minute red card. They were frequently outbattled by Hull but managed to level seven minutes from time when Shawcross bundled over the line from point-blank range. There was a moment of confusion when referee Jonathan Moss appeared to be waiting for confirmation from his goal-line technology watch, but an alert linesman had already spotted the ball crossing. “I knew it was over the line but obviously the watches didn’t work and the linesman had to give it, an old-fashioned goal,” said Shawcross. Tigers manager Steve Bruce was vexed by a wrongly awarded Stoke throw-in in the build-up to the equaliser, but left impressed with how close his side came to winning the match against the odds. “How could I not be pleased?,” he said. “We’ve only been a year in the Premier League and we’re disappointed we haven’t beaten Stoke with 10 men. “So of course I’m pleased but it could have been a wonderful start to the season with six points. “We looked very, very comfortable. We looked as if we would see it through.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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3 things John Wildhack said at his introductory press conference

first_imgJohn Wildhack was introduced as Syracuse’s new director of athletics on Tuesday. The ESPN executive is expected to take over near the end of July and replace interim AD Daniel French.Here are three things Wildhack said at his introductory press conference.This is a homecomingFrom his first words — “It’s great to be home” — all the way through, it was clear that Wildhack’s hiring was giving fans what they wanted. French said having an “SU guy” was a factor last week, but not the biggest and acknowledged the university knew people wanted an AD invested in Syracuse for the long haul after former AD Mark Coyle’s brief stay at SU.On Tuesday, SU underscored its delivery on bringing in an “SU guy” with Wildhack’s hiring. Arguably the three most visible spokesmen for Syracuse — Chancellor Kent Syverud, Wildhack and head men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim — are all Upstate New York natives. Wildhack delved into Boeheim visiting his grandfather’s store in Newark, New York to get a soda when he was younger.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyverud, an Irondequoit, New York native, played on his roots, too.When Wildhack was asked why fans should believe this is his dream job, he cited his 36 years at ESPN, which he said prove he’s not a “transient.” He mentioned that he couldn’t uproot his family again.“It feels so right,” Wildhack said.Sitting down with coachesWhile men’s soccer head coach Ian McIntyre said he has had just a phone conversation with Wildhack, he joked he’d ask for more games on ESPN (McIntyre did say SU’s matchup with Clemson will be televised on the network).While Wildhack had his homecoming, most of his prep work is still ahead of him. McIntyre said the first time he met Wildhack face to face was this morning before the press conference. Wildhack deferred to having to truly sit down and talk to head football coach Dino Babers about scheduling. The new AD said that scheduling had to be a balance between scheduling competitive games while also scheduling bigger games.While he may not have to go on the same “listening tour” previous AD Mark Coyle said he had to go on, Wildhack is still getting a sense of the department’s terrain.Pivoting forwardIn interviews with other outlets, including the Syracuse Post-Standard, Wildhack said that his interest in the job had to be swayed after SU initially reached out to him. On Tuesday, Wildhack reiterated that, but said one turning point in his interest was a Saturday morning meeting with Syverud.Wildhack said the meeting helped change his mind and decide that a homecoming was the best option. Once his family confirmed the decision, he was set on coming to SU.The former ESPN executive didn’t just stick to athletics and the product SU has been able to put on the field as a reason to join the athletic department. He referenced the Campus Framework plan Syverud has worked on since he came to SU and the West Campus Project, a component of the framework plan. Wildhack said he felt a “positive energy” and reiterated that he saw the changes Syverud made as making SU better as an institution.Beyond just what’s on SU’s campus, he conveyed that Syracuse’s brand was nationally recognized from his time at ESPN. Comments Published on July 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more