Stoke City manager Mark Hughes admits Peter Crouch form could earn striker start
Last Updated: 04/11/17 6:23pm
Mark Hughes admits he will soon have to start playing Peter Crouch from the beginning of matches if the veteran striker keeps scoring from the bench for Stoke.
The 36-year-old came off the bench to score for the third time this season in the Premier League on Saturday as his header earned Stoke a 2-2 draw with Leicester at the bet365 Stadium.
Crouch's powerful downward header from a Xherdan Shaqiri corner after 73 minutes followed up his winning goal from the bench against Southampton last month. He also earned Hughes' side a point at West Brom in August following his introduction as a substitute.
"He's not a bad option, is he?" said Hughes. "The big man has come on again and done what he always does, which is make an impact.
"Peter's quality and attributes are there for all to see. He came on and was a real threat and he gave them something else to think about and we changed things about and were a threat from that point onwards.
"He can still score at this level because physically he's in the right place and is engaged in the game. I thought he was exceptional in his general play as well, not just the great goal he scored.
"Everybody says he's Plan B, but if he continues he will be Plan A. I must say, he's doing nothing wrong."
Crouch's goal, his fourth of the season having also scored against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, a game which he started, saw Stoke peg back Leicester for the second time after Shaqiri had equalised in the first half.
Vicente Iborra's first goal in English football gave Leicester a deserved lead, which Riyad Mahrez restored on the hour mark.
Hughes was pleased with the character his steam showed, he said: "The least we deserved, given our determination and battling qualities, was a draw but we could have won it at the end.
"We showed character to come back twice because being in front is the ideal scenario for Leicester, as with the players they have they can then hit you on the counter attack.
"It's a Premier League point, which we'll take having been behind on two occasions. It's important that you consistently pick up point as you go along, that's what we've always done.
"We won't win every game and we won't lose every game, it's about having a steady point return, and every time you get a point you should celebrate."
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