Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes Charged with Improper Conduct

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Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes Charged with Improper Conduct
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Some might argue that Stoke City manager Mark Hughes' actions during his team's Dec. 26 match against Newcastle were justified, but the fiery boss will now have to pay the piper for his outburst.

According to Sky Sports News, Hughes has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association:

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Despite leading Newcastle by a score of 1-0, the Potters ultimately lost the match 5-1. Things started to unravel in the 40th minute when Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan was sent off due to his second yellow card of the match.

Stoke defender Marc Wilson was then issued a red card just three minutes later, which resulted in Stoke City having to play with nine men for the remainder of the match. Newcastle's Loic Remy leveled the score in the 44th minute, and the Magpies went on a four-goal outburst in the second half with Stoke playing two men short.

According to Danny McCann of Mirror Football, Hughes believes that official Martin Atkinson unfairly influenced the match with some questionable decision-making.

It went wrong when the referee got involved. I thought the initial sending off was very, very harsh. The second you would argue is a correct decision--denying a goal scoring opportunity-- we would argue against that.

There were a lot of decisions that left a lot to be desired to be honest. We totally controlled the game up to the first sending off in my view. Unfortunately referees can make decisions that can change the course of a game.

The first red card led to Hughes going on a rampage and kicking the ball, which resulted in him being sent off by Atkinson. Things snowballed in a negative way from there and Stoke City was never able to recover.

It's difficult to argue with the FA's decision since it has a standard to uphold, but Atkinson may deserve some form of discipline in his own right. English sportscaster Richard Keys is one of many who are supporting Hughes' actions based on Atkinson's officiating.

Whatever the case, Hughes and Stoke must find a way to regroup moving forward if it hopes to improve upon their 10th-place standing in the EPL.

There are several teams nipping at the Potters' heels right now and they simply can't afford to lose focus.

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