Britannia Stadium

Next Game

Stoke v QPR

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Spotland Stadium

Last Game

Rochdale 1 - 4 Stoke

Monday, 26 January 2015, 20:00

The FA Cup Fourth Round

Hughes plans to keep Crouch

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has ruled out the possibility of selling Peter Crouch this summer despite the arrival of Mame Biram Diouf.

Last Updated: 10/07/14 at 18:19 Post Comment

Peter Crouch: Has future at Stoke, insists Mark Hughes

Peter Crouch: Has future at Stoke, insists Mark Hughes

Diouf has joined Stoke on a four-year contract after leaving Hannover and will be expecting to lead the attack when the new Premier League season gets underway on August 16.

Stoke have also been linked with  Stuttgart's Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic, a move which would push Crouch, who has only one year remaining on his current deal at the Britannia Stadium, further down the pecking order.

Hughes, however, insists the 33-year-old has a 'big part to play' in his plans for the forthcoming season.

"Peter did very well last year," Hughes told Sky Sports News. "Obviously people picked up on something I said a couple of weeks back about some players arriving so some players will feel that they have to leave.

"Peter isn't one of those I hope because he was exceptional last season, did really well for me. He's a great asset on and off the field so we don't want Peter to leave. He's got a big part to play."

Hughes, who has also signed Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell and Dionatan Teixeira this summer, said he will "probably" make further additions to his squad before the close of the transfer window, but, although he did not rule out a move for Ibisevic, the Welshman insists there is no pressure to strengthen his frontline with Diouf already on board.

"We've got a number of irons in the fire, it's fair to say that," Hughes said. "I think the pressure is off in terms of getting people in striking areas. We're really pleased that we've been able to bring in Mame Diouf, we think he's going to really add to what we did last year.

"We're pleased that we've been able to do a good bit of business early on in the window, that's important for us. The lads were in for their first couple of days this week and that's important because they get to know their team-mates very quickly.

"We will benefit from that rather than waiting until the last throws of the window and then trying to introduce players which makes it more difficult in my view.

"We're quite comfortable where we sit but obviously if an opportunity comes to bring in a quality player then we'll pursue it."

A strong second half to last campaign saw Stoke finish ninth in Hughes' first season in charge but the 50-year-old insists the challenge now is to follow that up with another top-half finish.

He added: "We finished really strongly, which we felt we would do.

"It was always going to be difficult for some players initially because there was a lot of change going on. The previous manager had been in place for such a long period of time so I came in with my staff and different ideas, and initially it takes a little bit of time to get used to those.

"But fair play to the guys, they embraced everything and the second half of the season was exceptional to be perfectly honest. We finished where we wanted to be. We set targets and thankfully we hit them.

"Ninth in the Premier League is a huge achievement for us, but I said when I got the job that my aim was to make sure Stoke City were consistently in the top half. We've made a good start but the challenge is to do it again and again."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Capital One Cup: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Chelsea's Diego Costa was lucky to avoid a red card

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Chelsea's Diego Costa was lucky to stay on the field in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

Capital One Cup: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists Diego Costa does not deserve retrospective action after Emre Can stamp

Jose Mourinho thinks Chelsea's Diego Costa should be left alone to play football after a controversial outing on Tuesday.

Referee Michael Oliver to make final call on Diego Costa 'stamp' ahead of Chelsea-Manchester City game

Referee Michael Oliver will have the final say on whether Diego Costa is banned for this weekend's game against Manchester City.

Mail Box

'Diego Costa Is A Thug.' Sore Losers..?

There is plenty of fallout from Diego Costa's stamps of authority on Tuesday's League Cup semi-final. Plus Blatter, Rodgers' substitutions and stretching the transfer truth...

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company