West Ham 0 Stoke City 1: Hughes hails ‘talented’ Pennant
West Ham 0 Stoke City 1: Mark Hughes hails "talented" Jermaine Pennant after the winger's winner at Upton Park
Mark Hughes hailed Stoke City’s match-winner Jermaine Pennant after the winger’s free-kick sealed three points against West Ham United at Upton Park.
West Ham, who hadn’t conceded a goal this season, were on the back foot in the early stages as Kenwyne Jones spurned a chance to test Jussi Jääskeläinen before Mali striker Modibo Maiga wasted a headed opportunity for the home side.
Stoke, who have a poor away record in the Premier League, threatened in the second half through Steven N’Zonzi before Pennant scored a superb 82nd-minute free-kick to seal three points for the visitors in east London.
And Potters boss, Hughes, who replaced Tony Pulis this summer, heaped praise on the former Liverpool winger for his winner and attitude following the Welshman’s arrival at The Britannia.
“Jermaine is a talented boy, and I’m really pleased that he’s still with us,” Hughes told BBC Sport.
“I know he’s had his problems in the past but since I’ve come through the door he’s been excellent, and he is always a threat with his natural ability.”
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted the Hammers simply weren’t good enough against the Potters on Saturday.
“I don’t think we were ever comfortable, too much of our game went missing – particularly in possession. Stoke were better than us today, and we have to accept that.
“It’s a big shock for the players to turn out a performance like that – individually or collectively, we never played to our best.