sport

Crouch: Stoke have changed

Peter Crouch admits Tony Pulis helped to build something at Stoke City, but claims Mark Hughes has taken them to a new level.

The Potters were taken back to the big time, and consolidated within the Premier League ranks, under the previous management regime of Pulis.

He walked away, though, last summer and is currently working his own brand of coaching magic at Crystal Palace.

Hughes has inherited the reins at Stoke and has them playing a more eye-catching brand of football which has carried them into the top-half of the table and building towards a bright future.

Crouch, with 10 goals to his name in his third season with the Potters, said in the Daily Mirror: "I am really enjoying it. When a new manager comes in, it takes time to gel. We are trying to adapt the style of play.

"But it is ridiculous to get away from all the factors of the previous manager.

"He left a good team and a club in the right place and has done a fantastic job at Palace as well.

"But ever since the new manager came in at Stoke, we have enjoyed working with him. We have bought into his ideas and he has brought in some more quality to add to the side.

"We are changing people's perceptions of the club. We are certainly playing the ball and passing it more but with a cutting edge as well.

"It is important not to get away from the fact we are a big side and continue to get goals from set-pieces. We are strong defensively, but if we can add that bit more going forward, then we have a real chance."

Ahead of Saturday's clash with Cardiff City, which will see Stoke looking to make it five wins in their last six, Crouch added: "We set a target of finishing in the top 10.

"That would be a great achievement, something new for the club and that is what we are looking for."