Stoke City boss Mark Hughes said he’s pulling for striker Peter Crouch to hit 100 Premier League goals after the former England international scored in a 2-0 win against Watford on Tuesday.
Crouch, 35, is now sitting on 98 career goals in England’s top flight after his second-half strike put Stoke up 2-0 following a first-half injury-time opener from captain Ryan Shawcross.
Neither effort was particularly eye-catching, but were good enough to earn the Potters a win. Shawcross’ first in two years and two days found a way past Heurelho Gomes at the near post. Charlie Adam’s second-half cross somehow got past Sebastian Prodl and went in off Crouch’s knee.
“Let’s hope he can get to the century, it’s something that’s important to him,” said Hughes. “He wants to be one of the very few British players that have scored 100 Premier League goals and he deserves to get there because he’s been a top striker for a long time at this level.
“This is my fourth season here and I haven’t seen any diminishing of the qualities of Peter Crouch since I’ve been here and I don’t anticipate we will see anything happening in that regard in the next 12 to 18 months.”
Crouch’s deal is up in the summer and the discussion is now on whether he will stay on, even though he had not scored in 19 months before netting against Chelsea on New Year’s Eve.
“We are speaking about it, we’ve got the option to do that and clearly when he’s playing well and scoring goals that’s helping his case,” Hughes added.
“Pete isn’t just in the squad because he’s a good guy, he’s in it first and foremost because he’s a very good Premier League footballer. The bonus that he is one of the most popular guys in football is great.
“He’s got no ego, he just comes in and does his work. He was frustrated. He’s been in a couple of times and banged on my door and asked for the reasons why he wasn’t playing.
“I just had to tell him he was a valued member of the squad and he would get game time and thankfully I have been able to back that statement up.”