Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam: Mark Hughes has selection headache for Burnley
Charlie Adam says Stoke have given manager Mark Hughes a selection headache following their 1-0 win at Watford.
Adam's first-half header, which hit a post before rebounding into the net off Hornets keeper Heurelho Gomes, secured a deserved three points for the visitors.
Hughes was forced to reshuffle his team with Ryan Shawcross, Phil Bardsley and Glenn Whelan out injured and Joe Allen suspended.
But Adam and recalled record signing Giannelli Imbula bossed the midfield in Allen's absence while Glen Johnson and Marc Muniesa slotted in seamlessly at the back.
Stoke climbed into the top half of the table and host Burnley next weekend with Adam predicting some tough decisions for the boss.
"It was an excellent performance," he told the club website. "We had a few key players missing but the lads who came in were excellent and it's the manager's headache next week.
"We knew Watford would come at us in the first half but we were excellent all game.
"That's the character you have to show when you're not playing. When you come into a team that's playing well you have to stamp your authority.
"It's a headache for the manager next week but it's a good one to have. It's nice to see us in the top half. It was a great away performance and we'll move on to Burnley at home."
Watford were uncharacteristically lethargic and any hopes they had of snatching a point disappeared when Miguel Britos was sent off near the end.
Nevertheless, head coach Walter Mazzarri still felt they deserved something from the game.
"When we were 11 against 11, the only thing we missed was to score," said the Italian
"Of course I want much more from my team but it can happen a game like this.
"Especially if you look at the whole 95 minutes, then I think the match was at the same level between us and Stoke."