Stoke manager Mark Hughes has been fined 8,000 pounds ($13,000) by the English Football Association for ''improper conduct'' after he was sent to the stands during a 5-1 loss to Newcastle last week.

The charge relates to his angry reaction to Glenn Whelan's red card just before half-time of Stoke's 5-1 defeat by Newcastle United on Boxing Day, for which he was sent to the stands. However, the Welshman has avoided a touchline ban and is free to take control of his side in Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie with Leicester City.

Hughes immediately accepted the charge and said at the time: "I got pulled up on the fact I kicked a ball onto the pitch. That's a fact, so there's no way around it. I can't really defend that, that's what I did. If that's what the issue is, I'm going to have to hold my hands up."

Whelan's red card was swiftly followed by another for Marc Wilson, and Hughes was highly critical of the performance of referee Martin Atkinson. Potters chairman Peter Coates said the club would be making an official complaint about Atkinson's display.

Hughes said: "Everybody has their own opinions but you just want performance levels to be at a good level. We're all judged on our performances - managers, coaches, players, and referees are judged as well. We just want good performances from everybody involved in the game.

"Over the last couple of days I've looked at certain incidents in some games in comparison to some of the decisions that went against us, and there were anomalies. At the moment a number of key moments in games have gone against us so we'd like that to change in the New Year.

Hughes added: "We're going to make representations to certain bodies because I think it's important that we don't just take it lying down. We feel as a club a little bit aggrieved by what we've gone through."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.