Hughes delighted with Muniesa and Walters impact

Updated: 

Mark Hughes was encouraged to see Marc Muniesa and Jonathan Walters seize their opportunities in the Stoke City starting line-up by scoring the decisive goals against Burnley.

Muniesa was making just his second Premier League start of the season, while Walters - previously a regular - was in Hughes' line-up for only the fifth time.

They both scored in a 2-0 win on Saturday, and their manager was happy to see them rewarded for their patience.

"I am delighted for them both, and one or two others, because they haven't had many opportunities this season," Hughes said.

"Marc Muniesa is one who has had hardly any game-time and he has come in and been exceptional for us - he was outstanding again today.

"I wanted him to drive the ball forward, which he did tremendously well. He was very important for us.

"Even when he is in tight areas he is very confident of being able to get out of them and move up the pitch, and he showed that by starting the passage of play that resulted in him scoring a wonderful goal.

"Jonny Walters is another I am absolutely delighted for, because you always know what you are going to get from Jon, so for him to get on the scoresheet was really pleasing too.

"It was another tremendous finish and I'm not sure you will see any better than that in the Premier League if I am being perfectly honest."

Muniesa was involved at both ends of the field, with Burnley manager Sean Dyche feeling the Spaniard was fortunate to escape punishment on more than one occasion.

"I was surprised by a lot of decisions today," he said. "Mark [Clattenburg] is a great referee, but I thought today he was off his mark. 

"In the first half we could have had a penalty when Muniesa sticks an arm at an unnatural position from a free-kick. 

"The same player then drags Andre [Gray] down and I don't know where that lives. In the initial contact, Andre is through and clear, but by the time he [the referee] has let it play and play and play, a defender gets around him. 

"Why would he send him off if he is giving them time to recover? I thought the player looked worried, which is always a sign. 

"We need a little bit of the rub of the green, but we looked to take care of business our own way today and not worry about relying on other things not going our way, so it was a lot stronger performance from us."