Stoke manager Mark Hughes hails performance of Xherdan Shaqiri
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 28/12/15 6:58pm
Stoke manager Mark Hughes was full of praise for Xherdan Shaqiri after the winger played a leading role in their thrilling 4-3 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
The Switzerland international twice put Stoke ahead in the first-half, netting an exceptional second goal after latching onto a cross field pass from Bojan Krkic.
Shaqiri joined Stoke from Bayern Munich for a club record £12m in the summer and has taken time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, but Hughes is convinced the 24-year-old is finally beginning to find his feet in England.
"We are really pleased. He's been getting stronger and getting a better understanding of the Premier League. It's not easy to come into the Premier League and have an immediate impact, no matter what level of player you are," Hughes told Sky Sports.
"Shaq is undoubtedly a top level player, but there have been signs in recent weeks that he is getting to grips with it and having a bigger influence in each game he plays in.
"We are pleased for him and we are pleased for Joselu, who scored his first goal. I've not been able to give him too many opportunities, but he was fully focused on what he had to do today and we are really pleased for him as well."
Marko Arnautovic sealed a dramatic win for Stoke, converting a stoppage-time penalty after he was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Everton defender John Stones.
Everton were aggrieved by referee Mark Clattenburg's decision to award the spot-kick, but Hughes believes they can have no complaints.
"I don't think their lad got any contact on the ball really. I think that is the debate that has to be made, but whether he did get contact or not, if he did it was the faintest of touches," Hughes added.
"He certainly made more contact on Marko Arnautovic, he impeded him and he wasn't able to get a shot off. So from our point of view, we think it was a penalty."