Belfast Telegraph

Crouch won't be leaving stage for a while: Hughes

Stoke City 2-2 Leicester City

By Paul Burrows

Peter Crouch is capable of playing on for a few more years, according to Stoke manager Mark Hughes.

Crouch, 36, scored his fourth goal of the season against Leicester on Saturday to earn his side a 2-2 draw.

It was Crouch's third Premier League goal as a substitute this campaign, with Hughes stating after the game that if he continued to find the net from the bench then it will not be long before he is starting matches.

Crouch has found starts hard to come by but in Hughes he has a manager who knows what it is like to play on as a striker into your late 30s.

Hughes hung up his boots at the end of the 2001/02 season, just a few months short of his 39th birthday, and he feels Crouch can play on for a bit longer yet.

"I see his qualities every day and he trains every day and I think that is the key, I was the same," said Hughes.

"I think some managers feel that in the latter stages of your career you have to ease off and miss some training sessions but I found that wasn't correct.

"Pete is doing all he can and making himself available for every training session and that's the right thing to do in my eyes."

Crouch's header pegged back Leicester for the second time after Xherdan Shaqiri had equalised in the first half. Vicente Iborra's first goal in English football had given Leicester a deserved lead, which Riyad Mahrez had restored on the hour mark.

Belfast Telegraph

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