Hughes hails Bojan after ‘very good’ away display

Date published: Sunday 22nd November 2015 12:02

Stoke City: Celebrate Bojan's goal at Southampton

Stoke City: Celebrate Bojan's goal at Southampton

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes reserved praise for Bojan after his match-winning goal in a “very good away performance” at Southampton.

Bojan tucked in his third goal of the season after 10 minutes to set up the victory, with the Stoke defence registering fourth straight clean sheet on the road in the Premier League to make up for several missed chances at the other end.

For the goal, Xherdan Shaqiri charged clear down the right and, as England full-back Ryan Bertrand ushered the Swiss winger inside, he played the ball across the 18-yard line to Marko Arnautovic.

The Austrian helped the ball out to overlapping full-back Erik Pieters, whose cross was flicked in at the near post by the unmarked Bojan.

“He has that ability to drift between defenders,” said Hughes. “It wasn’t an easy finish – it was a good ball in, but it still needed converting.

“That’s the ability he has. You need that creative spark, players who can make a difference, and we have two or three of those now. If you get those players in the right areas and give them opportunities they will win you games. Bojan has won a game for us in terms of the goal he scored.”

Hughes’ side have lost just once on their travels this term, winning three and drawing three, and they moved to within a point of Saints after halting the hosts’ six-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League.

They could, and probably should, have scored more with Shaqiri wasting two good chances to open his account for the club, Arnautovic twice firing narrowly wide and Ibrahim Afellay having an effort cleared off the line.

“I’m very pleased, I thought we restricted a very good side to few clear-cut opportunities,” added Hughes.

“It was a very good away performance. That’s one defeat in 10 and we are in decent shape.”

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