Premier League - Stoke quiz Spurs over Adam handshake 'snub'

Stoke sought assurance from Tottenham that Spurs players will shake the hand of Charlie Adam should he make the starting line-up for Saturday's Premier League clash.

PA Sport Report
Premier League - Stoke quiz Spurs over Adam handshake 'snub'
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Charlie Adam and Gareth Bale

A rumour surfaced on Friday suggesting some of the visiting side would snub Adam because of ill feeling towards the playmaker.

The Scot has been the instigator of a number of controversial tackles in games against Tottenham and Paulinho was out for a month after being felled by Adam in the reverse fixture in December.

Tottenham complained to the Football Association, who took no action, while Stoke were unhappy with Spurs midfielder Sandro for posting a picture on social media with the message: "Charlie Adam - the beast (Sandro's nickname) is watching you."

Stoke boss Mark Hughes said: "We've made contact with Spurs to see if there's any truth in it and they assure us there's absolutely nothing. So we'll take it with a pinch of salt.

"We were a little bit taken aback by it. When I read it I thought it was absolute bunkum. We made the call and it just confirmed what we felt anyway.

"Charlie's done really well this year and he's in my thoughts for the game tomorrow certainly. He came on against Cardiff to good effect."

Adam has not started a Stoke game since the start of March and is currently playing in a mask to protect a badly-broken nose.

There was disappointment for Hughes this week, meanwhile, when Croatia striker Ivica Olic, who had been one of his main summer transfer targets, opted to sign a new contract at Wolfsburg.

Stoke had spent a long time trying to tempt the hard-working forward to the Premier League, and Hughes said: "Unfortunately the lad's decided to remain at the club he's at at the moment, which is obviously his prerogative..

"I certainly felt he would have been a player that would have brought value to the squad but it's not to be so we move on and wish him well.

"I think it was close, he gave it a lot of consideration. I don't think it was an easy decision for him."

Boosting his forward ranks will be the main priority for Hughes this summer, and he should soon find out whether United States striker Juan Agudelo will be able to play in England.

The 21-year-old was denied a work permit at a hearing in November but Stoke signed him in January anyway before loaning him to Dutch side Utrecht for the remainder of the season.

Hughes does not expect the club to wait to see whether Agudelo is in the US World Cup squad before reapplying for the work permit, and he is optimistic there will be a different outcome.

The Potters boss said: "We're more hopeful this time having worked with him here for almost a month before he went out on loan.

"I think we probably can build a better case, even though our case before was very strong we felt. We'll do it quite quickly I think irrespective of World Cups or whatever.

"It's always been our intention to try to pursue it as far as we can. Obviously if it falls by the wayside then we have to move on, as we have done with Olic. But we feel very hopeful that this time it will be passed."

Stoke go into Saturday's game in a fine run of form and are looking to set a new club record in the Premier League of five home victories in a row.

They have another landmark in their sights as well, with Hughes saying: "If we win against Spurs tomorrow then we equal the highest number of points attained by Stoke City in the Premier League.

"It's going to be a big ask because Spurs are an accomplished side as we all know but we would like to do it if we can and then that gives us two more games to add to that total.

"That would be something we could look back on with pride because it's been a huge effort from everybody."

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