Hughes pleased with battling Stoke

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes was proud to see his team go "toe-to-toe" with league leaders Arsenal in their 0-0 draw at Britannia Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners went top of the Premier League standings thanks to their share of the spoils, while the plucky Potters remain seventh in what is shaping up to be a very positive season for them.

"I think we have just gone up against the Champions-elect in many people's eyes and once again we have gone toe-to-toe with them and matched them ability wise," Hughes told his club's official website.

"We haven't conceded ground, we haven't been apprehensive about what we were facing and we went out there and backed our ability against them.

"I think we are getting stronger with each game that comes our way and once more I thought that we were excellent today for long periods of the game and tested their 'keeper on any number of occasions.

"Jack [Butland] made a couple of key saves for us too, with one being especially important during the first-half, but once again we have acquitted ourselves incredibly well against another top team.

"I thought we were very much the dominant team and the team looking to ask the majority of the questions, which is how it should be considering we were at home.

"We have real belief within the dressing room now and maybe the difference at the moment is that we expect to go out, compete with and possibly beat these sort of sides rather than hoping to."

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