Hughes calms fears over Shaqiri injury


Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says Xherdan Shaqiri was only substituted out of precaution in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton.

The former Bayern Munich winger was replaced by Ibrahim Afellay just past the hour mark at St Mary's Stadium, with Hughes confirming he was wary of the Switzerland international aggravating a hamstring complaint.

"He had a little tightness in his hamstring to be fair, and that was the reasoning behind taking him off when we did," the Welshman said after the match.

"He wanted to go out and play the second half but it was important that we protected him a little bit, which is what we did."

Shaqiri missed two clear-cut chances to make the victory more comfortable but Hughes insists he is happy with the way Stoke's record signing is adapting to the Premier League.

"I was really pleased with what he offered us once more today," he added. "You can see each game he plays that he is adapting and showing the undoubted qualities he possesses."

Stoke remain 11th in the table following the victory.