Stoke boss Mark Hughes urges Bojan Krkic to be patient
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 06/01/17 6:00pm
Mark Hughes has assured Bojan Krkic he is part of his plans at Stoke with the Spaniard increasingly irritated over a lack of first-team action.
The Stoke boss was speaking as he prepares to host Staffordshire rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup at the bet365 Stadium, bidding to overcome Paul Lambert's side and secure a spot in the last 32.
"He's a little bit frustrated because he hasn't had as many starts as he feels he needs," said Hughes.
"I said to his advisors, and we had a long conversation, that we have lost three attack-minded players (Wifried Bony, Mame Biram Diouf and Ramadan Sobhi) to the African Nations Cup.
"There's going to be more opportunities and it's up to him to take those opportunities. He is still a big part of my thinking."
The former Barcelona and Ajax forward has played in nine Premier League games this season, scoring three goals.
Hughes has tremendous history in the FA Cup having won it three times as a player, and admitted he would like to improve that record further as a manager.
"It's been a great competition for me personally, especially as a player," he told Stoke City Player.
"I managed to lift the trophy on a number of occasions and reached the semis several times too, but I would love to add to that record as a manager.
"We would like to go all the way if we possibly can - that is certainly our intention this year, just as it is every year.
"I show by the teams that I pick that I don't go weak in the competition. We know that this is realistically one of our only real opportunities of winning a trophy."
Hughes confirmed that Ibrahim Afellay would start Saturday's Cup clash. The Netherlands international has recently returned to the first-team fold after recovering from a serious knee injury, but hasn't yet completed 90 minutes of action.
Regarding potential transfer activity this month, Hughes added: "There is no point me talking about the players we have missed out on because they have gone now, but we are active and we are looking at players.
"There are good players available but getting those deals over the line can prove to be problematic."