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Diouf ready to focus on football after tragic death of his mother

Stoke striker Mame Diouf has expressed his thanks for the support he has received following the death of his mother and emphasised he now feels able to focus on football again.

Diouf's mother died in September after being caught up in a human stampede during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Diouf has thanked Stoke after the tragedy. Credit: PA

He was granted compassionate leave by Stoke when the news emerged and has started only one game since.

Quoted on Wednesday by The Sentinel, Diouf said of what he has been through: "It was long, long, long, long days, but now I am getting back and trying to stay together with the family.

"Now I am really fully focused. It's been a long time being away, not away, but away in the head. But now I am focused on football."

The 28-year-old Senegal international added: "All the team has been really supporting and helping me a lot and the gaffer (Mark Hughes), everyone.

"They were there when it was needed and I want to say thank you to all the fans too."


Hughes unhappy over big-screen replays of Butland challenge

Butland slides in on Ayew. Credit: PA

Stoke manager Mark Hughes criticised the showing of replays of an incident involving his goalkeeper Jack Butland on the Liberty Stadium big screen during his side's 1-0 win at Swansea.

Butland escaped punishment for his 17th-minute challenge outside the area on Andre Ayew, the Stoke goalkeeper going in studs first on the Ghanaian after his bad touch had allowed the ball to run loose.

Ayew had to take evasive action and referee Robert Madley waved play on, but Hughes was unhappy that the incident was replayed three times on the big screen from different angles.

"He (Butland) had to retrieve a situation and I thought he got the ball," Hughes said.

"There was a big shout from the home crowd as you would expect.

"It could have gone against us, in fairness, but if that's a little bit of luck that has gone our way then we'll take it.

"But I didn't appreciate the incident being shown on the videos around the stadium. I thought that was unnecessary.

"I wouldn't like to think it was deliberate, because when those situations happen it causes a reaction in the crowd and we had to deal with that."

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