Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says midfielder Joe Allen is at his best further forward

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Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says he was always confident that summer signing Joe Allen would have an impact in attacking positions.

Allen had played in a deeper role for Liverpool but has excelled in a far more advanced position since his £13m switch to the bet365 Stadium, scoring four goals in his opening nine matches.

“Having watched Joe in training on a daily basis since he has come to the club I have learned that he has a lot of attributes.

“The main one for me was his anticipation of where the ball was going to land or break free when people are going into challenges, and from my point of view I felt like we needed more energy in forward areas and we always knew he would give us that.

“He creates things and if he can win balls in high positions then the opposition team have difficulty dealing with that because they don’t have enough time to regroup.”

Although Hughes always knew that Allen had ability, even he is surprised at just how much of an impact the 26-year-old has had since joining the club in the summer.

“I don’t think any of us thought he would be as effective as he has been,” Hughes explained.

“I think Joe himself would admit that himself but long may it continue. He’s having a big impact and although he didn’t score at Hull at the weekend he had some good opportunities and a lot of it came from his anticipation and his willingness to run beyond our front players.

“He needs to continue to do that because it is a big plus for us.”

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