Mark Hughes praises Stoke's match-winner Peter Crouch
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 30/09/17 7:53pm
Mark Hughes was delighted with Peter Crouch's impact against Southampton after the Stoke striker's late winner secured a 2-1 victory.
Crouch stepped off the bench to scramble home with five minutes remaining at the bet365 Stadium as the hosts secured their second win of the campaign.
It was the second time Crouch has salvaged a result for Hughes' side this season after he earned a point with a 77th-minute goal in a 1-1 draw at West Brom in August.
Hughes was pleased with his substitute's performance and thrilled his team bounced back from a heavy 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea last weekend.
"It was important to get the win," the Stoke boss said. "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.
"Crouchy is a huge guy - obviously in terms of stature - but also his personality and what he brings to the club. He gets frustrated at times when he doesn't get the starts he undoubtedly deserves but he is always ready.
"Coming on late in games as a substitute he gives the opposition something completely different to think about and something difficult to deal with.
"As soon as he came on today he was ready to make an impact and that's what you have to do as a substitute."
Crouch spared team-mate Saido Berahino's blushes after the striker saw his first-half penalty saved by Fraser Forster.
Berahino has not scored a league goal since February 2016 and Hughes admits his luck is out at the moment.
"I felt for him today," Hughes added. "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."
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