Hughes: Break will benefit Potters
Stoke manager Mark Hughes is relishing the prospect of escaping the wretched British weather as he now heads to sunnier climes to plot his side's bid for Barclays Premier League survival.
Hughes and his squad travel to Dubai on Thursday for six days of warm-weather training, leaving behind a weather-battered Britain that is being subjected to heavy rains and high winds.
The storm-force gales almost put paid to Stoke's clash with Swansea at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday, but subsided enough prior to kick-off for the game to go ahead.
Hughes conceded his side were fortunate to come away with a point from a 1-1 draw after Chico Flores cancelled out Peter Crouch's 17th -minute opener.
The result means Stoke are now three points above the relegation zone with 12 games remaining, sitting in the middle of a group of 11 clubs who are all facing a fight to stay up.
Hughes feels some Dubai sunshine will help as he said: "I think a lot of clubs are doing it at this time of year because as we all know, the weather is compromising a lot of things.
"From our point of view, as a football club, it's difficult at the training ground at the moment because the pitches aren't in good condition and you can't do the work you want to do.
"At least we won't have any issue in that regard (in Dubai). We will have a decent surface to get some quality work done and be ready for the challenges ahead of us."
Those challenges do not come any harder than the first two matches on Stoke's return as they face Manchester City away and Arsenal at home.