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Hughes insists Stoke can handle Whelan, Walters loss

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes insists they still have the leaders to handle the loss of Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters.

The sale of two such huge stalwarts has understandably raised concerns beyond the dressing room itself, but the Stoke boss says the arrival of Darren Fletcher, to name but one, has left him with a mentally-strong camp.

He argued: “The reality is that people would have to be quite naïve to think that the likes of Jack Butland, Ryan Shawcross, Peter Crouch or Darren Fletcher would lessen the influence or the leadership that we have within the group.

“So yes, you lose a few who would have an impact on that, but then other guys step up to the plate and fill the void and we have strong characters who have really strong leadership potential.

“So we don't allow these players to go lightly, it's always done with due process and thought."

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Paul Vegas

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