Mark Hughes hailed Stoke new boy Giannelli Imbula after the midfielder scored in their 3-1 away-day triumph at Bournemouth.
The £18.3million recruit from Porto, in his second start, thumped the Potters ahead early in the first half and second-half goals from Ibrahim Affelay and Joselu made the game safe, despite a goal back from the hosts through Matt Ritchie.
Hughes was delighted with Stoke’s shape and threat on the counter-attack, but he reserved special praise for Imbula.
“We wanted to be a bit more resolute and a bit better in terms of how shape today, we certainly were,” said Hughes.
“It was a great strike by Giannelli Imbula. I thought he looked excellent today, you can see what a good player he is and will be for us. We are really delighted with what he has produced.
“Our threat on the break was there all game.”
A fire alarm cut short Hughes’ post-match press conference but he had enough time to express his happiness with the performance before joining the evacuation.
“It was a really pleasing away performance, we came here with a good game plan,” added Hughes.
“We were prepared to allow Bournemouth to come on to us a little bit.
“We conceded a bit of possession today, more than we usually do but we felt we could get good opportunities on the break today. With the personnel that we have got we could cause Bournemouth a problem.”