Jones must work for new deal

  • Last Updated: September 20 2013, 17:01 BST

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has hailed rejuvenated striker Kenwyne Jones but played down suggestions new contract talks are imminent.

Kenwyne Jones: Stoke striker has manager's support
Kenwyne Jones: Stoke striker has manager's support

Jones, signed from Sunderland for £8million three years ago, appeared to fall down the pecking order under former manager Tony Pulis last season.

With his contract due to expire next summer, there has been uncertainty over the 28-year-old Trinidadian's future.

But Jones seems to have been reinvigorated since Hughes's arrival, scoring a hat-trick in the Capital One Cup win over Walsall and starting the last two Barclays Premier League games.

Hughes said: "It's early days in terms of contracts. I am aware of the situation with a lot of the players, but for me the important thing for me now is trying to win football matches.

"Kenwyne has been fantastic this season, and if he plays as well as he has done I am sure that he will score a lot of goals for us.

"He is capable of scoring a lot of goals at this level.

"I sense that Kenwyne is enjoying it at the moment. He has maybe gone through a spell where things didn't go so well for him, but he is a player I like and somebody that offers a lot to us.

"He maybe needs encouragement from time to time, but he is a great character and a great person to have around the club.

"He will want to do well this season to earn himself a new contract."

The lack of urgency on this matter is perhaps indicative of the stability in which Hughes appears to be revelling at the Britannia Stadium.

His reign at QPR was far more chaotic in nature with multiple expensive signings failing to gel and the Welshman being sacked after just 10 months in charge.

Hughes said: "I am pleased to be at a stable club. They understand the ups and downs of things here, and everyone keeps level-headed.

"We have good owners here and a good chief executive and that doesn't half help."

After his struggles at QPR, Hughes was not a universally popular appointment with supporters.

But the former Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham manager has made a positive start with the Potters.

Performances, in even defeat to Liverpool in the opening game, have been encouraging and Stoke certainly had the better of a goalless draw with Manchester City last weekend.

Hughes said: "We have acquitted ourselves really well thus far, and the only disappointment has been not rewarding those performances with more points.

"If we can put the ball away a little bit more often then I am certain that we can have a very good season."

Midfielder Charlie Adam, outstanding against City last week, has been Stoke's only injury concern this week ahead of Sunday's trip to Arsenal.

Adam required stitches after gashing his leg in training but Hughes expects him to be available at the Emirates Stadium.

Hughes said: "We don't anticipate that being a problem for us on Sunday.

"We will patch him up and we anticipate him being available."

Deadline day signings Stephen Ireland and Marko Arnautovic, who made their debuts off the bench last Saturday, are both pushing for their first starts.


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