Manchester City boss Mark Hughes will intensify his attempts to add further players to his already expensive squad after a shattering 1-0 defeat at Stoke.
Ten-man Stoke won their first home game since November, and ended a run of 13 games without a victory. And against a Manchester City side, whose starting line-up cost over £90million, it was a major boost to Stoke's battle to avoid relegation.
"There is a reluctance to knock balls into the box because we do not have that physical presence, and defenders are likely to clear balls from those areas," said Hughes.
"We just didn't create enough chances to break them down. We had a lot of attack-minded players on the pitch at the end, we looked for every option, but this time it did not work.
"It is hard to make space on a very tight pitch, one on which Stoke are running hard and closing everyone down."
The home side's first XI cost less than £10m, but even after Rory Delap was sent off after 37 minutes, the defiant Potteries side produced a resilient display to claim three priceless points.
For City boss Hughes it was a sorry display to witness, 24 hours after high-level London talks over the club's transfer policy with chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak, who was a spectator at the Britannia Stadium.
City will now try to push through deals to bring goalkeeper Shay Given and striker Roque Santa Cruz to the club before the transfer deadline on Monday.
He added: "I've not heard anything more on our transfer targets. Bids are on the table but they have gone no further.
"I was with the chairman to discuss a plan to go forward, the bids are on the table (for Given and Santa Cruz). We have not made a bid for Kolo Toure."
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