Crouch Takes Hughes Praise
Manager Mark Hughes picked out Peter Crouch for praise following Stoke's victory over Southampton this weekend.
Hosting Mauricio Pellegrino's side at the Bet365 Stadium for the tie, Mame Diouf gave us the first half lead, but Maya Yoshida levelled in the 75th minute for them. With Stoke wasting an opportunity from the penalty spot, Crouch popped up five minutes from full time to secure all three points.
Speaking to the Official Website as he met with the media post game, Hughes said he wasn't surprised to see Crouch have the impact he did as he generally does what it says on the tin.
'Crouchy is absolutely invaluable to us, he is a great guy, has a great personality and he continues to make major contributions for us on the pitch. He is a top level professional and somebody we love having around the Club, but we also know that he can produce the goods on the pitch too.'
Hughes went on to say.
'His ability on the field goes without saying, so I probably do frustrate him on occasions when I decide to go with other options. But I always know that when we do bring him in, particularly from the bench late on, then he will have a positive effect on the match. He gives defences problems that they don`t like dealing with and, for the most part, they can`t handle him.'
'He disrupted Southampton today when he came on and showed tremendous feet inside the box and then finished with real aplomb - he is a vital member of the group, that goes without saying.'
Speaking more generally about the game and the performance, Hughes admitted we'd played better than that this season and lost, so he was certainly pleased to see it balance up a bit - especially after the heavy defeat to Chelsea last weekend.
'It was important to get the win. We have had some really difficult home games against some top sides and Southampton themselves are a very good side in this league. They have finished above us over the last few years so we knew it was another difficult home fixture. We found a way to get maximum points, it was a little bit scruffy towards the end, but Crouchy has come on and made the difference at the top end of the pitch.'
With Saido Berahino's penalty miss seeing him extend his own rnu without a Premier League goal going back to February 2016, Hughes went on to say.
'I felt for him today. It would have been great for him to get on the scoresheet. He showed personality and was brave enough to grab the ball for the penalty. The 'keeper got across and made a good save. It will come, he is working hard. He is doing extra over and above what he needs to do. He just needs a break, something to fly into the net off his shin.'