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Published: 10:06 | 23/9/16

Hughes plays down Bony rift reports

Mark Hughes has rubbished reports which claim that Wilfried Bony had caused a split in the Stoke dressing room.

Bony moved to Stoke on loan from Manchester City on transfer deadline day but he has yet to score in his first three appearances and it has been reported that some Stoke players are unhappy with his attitude.

Hughes was questioned about the claims during his weekly press conference on Friday morning and he moved swiftly to deny the reports.

"Let's nip that in the bud straight away," Hughes told reporters when asked about Bony. "Unfortunately at the moment we are a little bit fair game for easy headlines.

"It's all very predictable. Player unrest, problems in the dressing room… they all come up at this time.

"It's totally untrue.

"Wilfried's come in and had a really positive impact on the group and we are delighted with his character.

"In terms of what he's been able to produce on the pitch, he hasn't played too many games in the last two or three years and he's getting up to speed.

"To say we are questioning his attitude is totally wrong, so we need to stop that straight away."

It has also been questioned that Giannelli Imbula is proving unpopular with his team-mates but Hughes is confident there is no issue with the French midfielder.

"He played in midweek (v Hull) and played fine," Hughes explained.

"He's an undoubted talent and there's no underlying issues, it's football business.

"It's a little bit unfair, but all very predictable, as I say.

"We've got a good dressing room working hard to get results.

"We totally dominated against Hull and the only stat we didn't get right was the scoreline.

"To question the dressing room and individual players is totally wrong in my view."

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