MARK HUGHES has delivered promising news on the availability of a number of his first team playing stars following the two-week international break.
The Stoke City boss was forced to watch on anxiously as the likes of Kenwyne Jones, Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters picked up knocks during the recent World Cup Qualifiers and international friendlies.
However, he has confirmed that all three players are in contention to feature against his former club Manchester City tomorrow, as are his two deadline day acquisitions Marko Arnautovic and Stephen Ireland.
“They have all come back and thankfully they are all fine,” he revealed to Stoke City Player. “The only disappointment for us is that Marc Muniesa has come back with a slight groin strain.
“Other than that they are all fit and they are all raring to go.
“Kenwyne went over on his ankle whilst he was away but he has trained the last few days, so he will be fine for the game, as will the Irish lads too.”
He added: “We have been able to put in some good work with Stephen over the past week and he is improving every day he is here with us.
“Marko has come in over the last 48 hours and looked very sharp and technically very impressive too, so he along with Stephen comes into my thoughts for the game.”
Hughes, who spent 18 months in charge of the Citizens between 2008 and 2009, says the only difficulty for him will be having to disappoint a number of players who won’t make it into his 18-man matchday squad.
“We’ve got a number of things to consider for the game,” he added. “Obviously some of the lads have been away, and we have one or two minor niggles which a couple of them are trying to get over.
“The important thing is that I have a pretty much full compliment of players to pick from, and the hardest thing will be having to disappoint a few people who won’t even get to put on a strip.
“To be perfectly honest nobody deserves that because each and every one of them has been fantastic in training and displayed an exemplary attitude.”
Tickets for the visit of Manchester City to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday are still available. Buy from scfcdirect.com, in person direct from the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 01782 367599.