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Hughes hails Walters after treble
31 Jan 2015 19:07
Stoke boss Mark Hughes labelled Jonathan Walters "a credit to his profession" after the forward notched a hat-trick to steer the Potters to a 3-1 home win over QPR.
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Walters marked his 200th appearance for the Staffordshire outfit by striking in the 21st and 34th minutes to put them 2-0 up before adding a stoppage-time header to wrap up the victory.
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It was the first Premier League hat-trick ever scored by a Stoke player and came on the day they celebrated club icon Stanley Matthews, 24 hours before what would have been his 100th birthday.
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Current hero Walters now has 10 goals in all competitions this season, and Hughes said of the 31-year-old: "At the end it was fitting that Jon scored his third goal to take the game away from them because I thought on the day he was magnificent and a credit to his profession.
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"He gives everything, every game, and on his 200th game it was fitting he won it for us."
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Asked whether Walters will be getting a new contract - his current deal expires in the summer - Hughes said: "Well, he is going the right way about it!
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"I'm sure there will be discussions nearer the time. But I'm just delighted for him - he probably doesn't get enough credit for what he does on the field of play, and his determination and effort to get everything out of his body and his ability is second to none. I am really pleased for him."
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Walters has spent time out of the first XI this term, and Hughes added: "I think he has a freshness in his play now. He has been in and out the team, but when he comes in, he gives everything and always has an impact for us.
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"I think he is benefitting from understanding he can't play week in week out if he is going to be the best he can be."
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