REUTERS - Injured Stoke City striker Peter Crouch is doubtful for Tuesday’s Premier League trip to Burnley, with midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and defender Geoff Cameron also unlikely to be ready in time for the match, manager Mark Hughes said.
Crouch hurt his knee during Stoke’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester City on Saturday, while both Shaqiri and Cameron are short of match fitness.
“From the weekend we have a few bumps and bruises,” Hughes told a news conference on Monday.
“Peter Crouch has a bang on his knee. Xherdan Shaqiri will train today but may not be fit for tomorrow. We are waiting on Geoff Cameron but he may well miss out.”
Hughes said ninth-placed Stoke would focus on recovering in time for the trip to Burnley after a disappointing performance against Leicester, with the manager saying his side’s target was to finish in the top half of the table.
“It’s more about recovery with a short turnaround between games. It’s less about being on the grass, instead making sure we are fresh,” Hughes said.
“The displays against Middlesbrough, Manchester City and Chelsea were very good, however Leicester City not so. We have eight games to go and it’s clear what we need to do to at least finish in the top 10.”
Burnley have not won a league game since the end of January, and are 15th in the table, five points above the relegation zone, but Hughes said they were in no danger of being relegated this season because of their impressive home form.
Burnley’s 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday was the club’s fourth loss at home in 15 league games this season.
“I don’t see (Burnley) being in trouble come the end of the season,” Hughes said. “Burnley don’t change the way they play and play to their strengths. You have to be nice and solid because they have players who can hurt you.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich