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Stoke's Charlie Adam disappointed with fan reaction to Mark Hughes

Stoke's Charlie Adam disappointed with fan reaction to Mark Hughes


Angry West Brom asked the Premier League to postpone Tuesday's trip to West Ham with the club fuming at playing twice in 48 hours.

Albion chairman John Williams has spoken directly to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore to voice the Baggies' concerns, sources tell Press Association Sport.

The club have written multiple letters to the league with the Baggies unhappy West Ham have had a week to prepare for the fixture.

Albion go to the London Stadium on Tuesday after their 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Sunday while the Hammers have not played since Boxing Day.

West Ham's televised game at Tottenham was moved from Sunday to Thursday because of safety concerns with the tube stations around Wembley at reduced capacity on New Year's Eve.

The Safety Advisory Group at the national stadium could only recommend 43,000 fans be let in -- less than half the usual amount.

But Albion's complaints have fallen on deaf ears and manager Alan Pardew has made his feelings known.

He said: "It's terrible. We all know there's pressure on TV companies for ratings and everything else and games - I understand that. The league's got to be stronger and say two days is not right.''

Pardew also insisted he will have to make changes to his line-up because, otherwise, he would be putting his players' safety at risk.

"Of course I am. There's some players who won't be able to cope with that. I'd be putting them at risk. Matty Phillips for example - I wouldn't take Matty Phillips off against Arsenal) if I didn't have West Ham.''

All Premier League clubs were told at the start of the season the schedule would be condensed due to the need to fit in an extra round of games because of an early finish for the World Cup.

The weekend of December 30 was also a normal game week and if the league had moved the New Year fixtures into midweek there was a fear fewer fans would have been able to travel.

A Premier League statement read: "With reference to the scheduling of our New Year's Eve fixtures, a late decision by public service providers ensured one match would no longer be able to go ahead as originally planned.

"As the fixture had already been selected for live UK broadcast, it was moved to the next available date, which is in line with normal practice.''

Charlie Adam has jumped to the defence of under-fire Stoke boss Mark Hughes after his side's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle at the bet365 Stadium.

Ayoze Perez scored the only goal of the game and Potters fans were quick to show their dissatisfaction, with boos and at least one 'Hughes Out' banner greeting the final whistle.

But Adam, a fixture in the Stoke side since he joined from Liverpool in 2012, insists it is the players who must bear the brunt of the blame.

Asked if he was disappointed with the reaction to Hughes, Adam said: "Of course I am because he has done a wonderful job here.

"Times are tough, let's not hide from it, and we are under pressure as a group.

"The management team, the players, we are the ones who have to take the flak and stick. It's thoroughly deserved at the moment and it's only us who can change it.

"I just think situations like that don't help. But we've got to get ourselves out of the mess we're in.''

The pressure eased slightly on Hughes after four points from two games over Christmas but his decision to rest players for Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Chelsea backfired.

Stoke will take a much-needed break from Premier League action when they travel to League Two Coventry in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Adam added: "He [Hughes] has transformed the club and hopefully he gets the opportunity to take us to the end of the season and get us out of the mess we are in.

"We have got characters in the dressing room, and hopefully one or two maybe in the window to liven it up, and see where that takes us.''