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Stoke boss Hughes hails matchwinner Pennant

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes hailed matchwinner Jermaine Pennant after victory at West Ham United.

The 30-year-old winger's contract was due to expire in the summer and he was expected to leave having been marginalised under former boss Tony Pulis, only for Hughes to give him a 12-month extension.

"Jermaine has been excellent since I came to the club. I've always admired his talent, but he's had his own problems and will tell you that himself," Hughes said.

"When I came in and there was a real possibility he could leave the club, I felt like I couldn't allow that to happen. You don't want him turning up at Stoke in a different shirt.

"I felt it made sense to keep him at the club and work with him to see what he's like as an individual and player. He hasn't disappointed me. He comes in every day with a smile on his face.

"His work's good and you don't score a goal like he did without putting extra work in on the training ground, which he does every single day.

"In the past maybe he's been judged before he's had the chance to show what he can do. He's let himself down probably as well, which he'll admit to.

"He's in a different place in his life now and is enjoying his life. I'm delighted for him."

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