Stoke boss Mark Hughes plays down Whelan and Allen's international clash

The club team-mates were involved in a heated moment during Ireland and Wales' World Cup qualifier

BY Raf Diallo 13:45 Saturday 1 April 2017, 13:45 1 Apr 2017

Ireland’s Glenn Whelan has a tussle with Joe Allen of Wales ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has played down any notion that there will be lingering issues between Ireland's Glenn Whelan and Wales' Joe Allen after their clash during last Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The Stoke midfield team-mates had a forceful difference of opinion on the pitch in Dublin after an incident which saw Whelan catch Allen in the face with his forearm during an aerial challenge.

But Hughes feels that incidents such as those are just part and parcel of the game and added that Whelan and Allen are friends.

"They are team-mates, they enjoy each other's company, they were playing for their countries and wanted to win and wanted to get a positive result," said the Stoke manager.

"They were just displaying national fervour. I looked at it myself and I think Glenn was thinking he was going to crash into Joe, and he made an involuntary action in my view.

"I don't think he actually threw an elbow, I think maybe he went to protect himself from the clash and he caught Joe on the chin, so that can happen.

"But you saw, almost immediately, Glenn saying he didn't do it on purpose and he made that point quite forcefully on the pitch I think. It's something of nothing.

"It happens more often in training games during the week, which people never hear about it, when the cameras aren't on. It is part and parcel of the game. People react to being clumped at times. That's how it is but there is no problem whatsoever."

Hughes also joked of his playing days, "Goodness me, when I played I'd kick my granny if she was the opposition; that's how it is."

Stoke play Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as the club scene resumes after the international break.


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