Stoke manager Mark Hughes hails Joe Allen's contribution after first Premier League victory
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 15/10/16 6:47pm
Stoke manager Mark Hughes has hailed Joe Allen's contribution after his double secured the Potters their first Premier League victory this season.
The hosts saw off fellow strugglers Sunderland 2-0 to take their tally to six points for the season, with the Welshman scoring either end of the first half to take the maximum points.
It takes his tally to four goals in three games for his club - as well as his goal for his country during the international break - and former Wales captain Hughes praised his contribution during the win.
"He has that key element to his play which is anticipation," the manager told Sky Sports.
"He does that in midfield areas when he's in deeper positions and I've pushed him forward in recent weeks to good effect. He anticipates things in the box, which is always a good thing, so if you do that in key areas of the pitch then you're going to affect the scoreline, and that's what he's doing for us at the moment.
"He's been absolutely outstanding since he's come to the club and he's playing week in, week out now. Maybe that's the reason he's a little bit sore during games and we're going to have to manage his health in terms of making sure we get him ready for games but if we can keep him on the pitch for the whole season, then he's going to have an outstanding season I'm sure."
Stoke had drawn their previous two games ahead of the international break against West Brom and Manchester United, and Hughes was pleased his side had finally got the victory they deserved.
"I's our over-riding thought [that a win had been coming]," he added. "I think in recent weeks there's been an uplift in how we've performed.
"We've made a couple of changes which have helped in terms of personnel in the team and I think that has given us a different platform. We've got stronger and back to our normal levels in the last three games.
"People were talking about our position in the league and what have you, but we felt we were in good shape and confidence was high so we were looking forward to this game.
"We scored two, got a clean sheet and we could've scored more on the day if truth be told so all in all, a really satisfying day for us and one we can build on."
Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri were also in fine form during a solid Stoke display, with the game also seeing the Potters keep their first Premier League clean sheet of the campaign.
"I was pleased with the threat we had today. Like I said, we could have scored any number of goals and two was the winning margin but it could have been more," Hughes said.
"We've got good creativity at the top end of the pitch but they were still required to do a defensive role and a shift for the team and that is what they were prepared to do today.
"I was really pleased with the attitude of everybody to the attacking player and clearly to the defensive player and we restricted them to very few opportunities."