Shaqiri’s knock not serious, says Stoke’s Hughes

Published 11/23/2015, 9:00 AM EST
Football – Stoke City v Chelsea – Capital One Cup Fourth Round – Britannia Stadium – 27/10/15 Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after winning the penalty shootout Action Images via Reuters / Alex Morton Livepic


(Reuters) – Stoke City’s record signing Xherdan Shaqiri was taken off as a precaution after he sustained a minor hamstring injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League, manager Mark Hughes has said.

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Shaqiri, who is yet to find his feet at the club following his move from Inter Milan during the off-season, is still searching for his first goal in English football after making 13 appearances this season.

The former Bayern Munich winger was taken off shortly after the hour mark and Hughes said he was pleased with the 24-year-old showing glimpses of his potential as he continues to adapt to the English game.

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“He had a little tightness in his hamstring to be fair, and that was the reasoning behind taking him off when we did,” Hughes told the club’s website (www.stokecityfc.com).

“He wanted to go out and play the second half but it was important that we protected him a little bit, which is what we did.

“I was really pleased with what he offered us once more. You can see each game he plays that he is adapting and showing the undoubted qualities he possesses.”

Stoke have not conceded on their travels in over seven hours, a feat that spans over the last five away games in all competitions and have won four of their last six league games.

Skipper Ryan Shawcross said the increased focus in recent weeks is down to fierce competition for places within the squad.

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“We’re beginning to look more fluent in our performances, we have some very talented players so hopefully we can continue this good run of form,” Shawcross said.

“Clean sheets are what we strive for. It’s never easy, it’s a tough league and teams are always going to create chances.

“There are other players who are fighting to take our place so we aren’t resting on our laurels, we’ll carry on working hard and hopefully get some more clean sheets.”

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Stoke, who are 11th in the table, travel to second-from-bottom Sunderland in the league on Saturday.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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