Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v Stoke

Friday, 26 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Britannia Stadium

Last Game

Stoke 0 - 2 Chelsea

Monday, 22 December 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property