Potters playing to Crouch’s strengths

Stoke striker Peter Crouch
Stoke striker Peter Crouch
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MARK Hughes has hailed the form of experienced Stoke striker Peter Crouch going into tomorrow’s clash with Sunderland.

The former Liverpool and Portsmouth forward has notched three goals already this term, in eight appearances, including Monday’s winner against Newcastle at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke boss Hughes enthused: “He’s arguably doing as well as any striker in the Premier League at th emoment.

“He’s said himself he doesn’t feel as isolated as in previous seasons. We’ve been able to get support up to him.

“He’s not going to run beyond people but we’ve got others around.”

Hughes hopes “man on a mission” Victor Moses can keep up the impressive form the winger has shown since joining on loan from Chelsea.

Moses, who signed on a season-long deal last month, has had a frustrating last couple of years as a bit part player for the Blues and, in the second half of last season, at Liverpool on loan.

But he has rapidly emerged as a key man for Stoke, and the former Wigan man’s threat was in particular evidence as he helped them to Monday’s 1-0 defeat of Newcastle.

The 23-year-old Nigeria international provided the cross from which Crouch headed in the 15th-minute winner, and caused constant problems for the visitors.

Hughes said of Moses: “He’s been exceptional since he came to the club.

“We are really delighted with what he has produced. He is a man on a mission I would suggest, because he hasn’t had a lot of football in the last two years or so.

“He just wants to play, and every time he gets into those positions, in the wide areas, you always sense something is going to happen.

“It was the same again (against Newcastle). We are delighted for him, and I think if he continues in the same vein, then he’ll have a good season and so will we.”

Moses is a slight cornern for tomorrow, with Hughes adding: “Victor has a slight tightness in his thigh which we have to keep an eye on. We hope it’s not compromising, but we’ll have to see.”

Right-back Geoff Cameron was linked with Sunderland in the summer, but he will again be unavailable tomorrow, as he continues his recovery from hernia surgery.