'I think his chance has probably gone' - Hughes praises Crouch but plays down World Cup hopes

Charlie Adam had suggested that the former Liverpool striker should be taken to Brazil this summer but his manager thinks that the international scene has moved on
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes praised Peter Crouch following the Potters' 4-1 victory at Aston Villa but does not believe that the striker will make England's squad for the World Cup.

The 33-year-old scored one and assisted another as Stoke roared back from a goal down to beat Villa, which lead suspended team-mate Charlie Adam to suggest that the striker should be recalled to Roy Hodgson's team for this summer's tournament in Brazil.

But, although Hughes recognises Crouch's talent and importance to his team, he thinks that his chance to have another crack at the international scene has gone.

"I think it probably has done but Peter is certainly an international-class player," the Welshman told reporters. "He's proven that, he's scored goals at that level and he's got a great record for England.

14/1 Jack Butland is 14/1 with William Hill to make England's World Cup squad
"Maybe people in charge now are looking for maybe a similar type of player, as effective as he is, but I think his time has come and gone.

"If he was asked to go I'm sure he'd go. He knows what's required at that level. It's not my decision but, if anybody phoned me up and asked my view about Peter going to the World Cup, I would give a very positive one but whether I'd get that call I don't know."

Stoke scored four goals away from home for the first time in Premier League history and Hughes hailed his side's improved cutting edge in comparison to recent performances.

He enthused: "I thought we were very good. We got off to a poor start, didn't really deal with the situation, but maybe that was the spike that we needed and from that point onwards we were in control of the game.

"I think the difference was that we had that cutting edge. We had the guys in the right places on the field to convert the chances. The manner of the performance and the victory suggests that, we've done OK but we just haven't had that threat that we've got now. Credit to the guys up front, they've given us that threat that we've been looking for all season.

"If you look at our goals, I think there was variation in every single one. The third goal was something like 18 or 19 passes before the ball was in the back of the net. We're not renowned for that so we're really pleased.

33/1 Aston Villa are 33/1 with William Hill to be relegated from the Premier League
"With the game being on [TV] maybe people will sit up and take notice of what we do; we've been under the radar in the last seven or eight games. We're playing well at the moment and we're close to what we want to achieve."

Villa boss Paul Lambert had no complaints after the defeat and could not quite put his finger on where things went wrong for his side.

"We were second best, that was not good enough," he told the media. "For 20 minutes we looked really good, scored a really good goal, but the goals we lost were really poor. OK, we lost a couple of lads to injury but we were second best.

"Stoke deserved to beat us. It was unlike us, we looked lethargic, never got going. It was just a performance that wasn't like us. We never defended well at all and, when you don't defend as well as what you can, that can happen.

"I can't be too critical of the lads because of what they've done in the last couple of weeks but [on Sunday] I thought they never deserved anything."