Stoke boss backs hitman for World Cup place

Mark Hughes has backed Peter Crouch to transfer his Stoke City form onto the World Cup stage, should he be selected for Roy Hodgson’s England squad, according to Sky Sports.

Crouch starred in Stoke City’s 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday, scoring the second goal and turning in a man of the match performance.

The 6ft 7in striker also provided an assist for Peter Odemwingie, as the Potters claimed their first away win since August.

Crouch has a fantastic record at international level, scoring 22 goals in 42 appearances, while his recent form in the Premier League have seen some calls for an England recall.

And while Hughes acknowledges the 33-year-old is very much an outsider for Hodgson’s 23 man squad, he believes Crouch would be capable of displaying the form he has been showing for Stoke on the World Cup stage.

“He has given us a focal point, and his link-up play was brilliant today,” said Hughes of Crouch, who has nine goals to his name this term.

“He is an international-class player, he has proven that at international level.

“He has a great record for England. Maybe the people in charge are looking for a similar type of player as effective as Pete.

“Maybe his time has come and gone, but if he was asked to go I am sure he would go.

“If anyone rang me up and wanted a view on whether or not I think Peter should go to the World Cup, I can obviously give them a very positive one.”