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Hughes - 'Missed opportunity'

"Before the season started we would have taken fourth place and one defeat at the start of November but we are a little frustrated with the number of draws that we have had," declared the manager.

"But that is how the Premier League is shaping up with lots of teams dropping points. What we have to do is make sure that when we don’t play that well, as we didn't today, we still pick up points.

"Possibly this was an opportunity missed but no team is going to allow us to dictate to them and that was the case here. We have done well in the other drawn games. This was probably the one where we didn’t hit the heights . But we have still got something out of it.

"We failed to get any momentum in our play and it was all a little bitty. The game as a whole suffered as a consequence."

>>Mark Hughes.

Hughes is correct that at this stage of the season, to be sat in fourth place in the table would - at the start of the season - be seen as exceeding expectations.

Yet there is an air of frustration at events over the past month given there has been a missed opportunity in not taking advantage of the failings of other sides. It is also fair to say that we have lost a little of the momentum we had at the start of the season.

I did identify that we had a spell of games until the end of November that would take us to a third of the way through the season, and that as this stage we would have a better indication of what expectation should be.

Whilst a succession of draws has stunted our progress a little, there is ample opportunity in the remaining fixtures - Burnley, Liverpool and Hull to ensure that from the second block of the season can still be regarded a success.