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Mark Hughes hails Ramsey impact

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has paid tribute to his fellow countryman Aaron Ramsey in the countdown to the renewal of hostilities at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Ryan Shawcross leaves the scene of Aaron Ramsey's injury
Aaron Ramsey suffered a broken leg in 2010.

The latest meeting of the Arsenal midfielder and Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross comes with the Welshman high on form and goals following his seven goals to date this season, including three in the last week.

And Hughes, whose own side are in decent nick as they continue a tough start that has already seen them acquit themselves well against Liverpool and Manchester City, insists he's very much among the player's admirers.

"I'm really pleased for him," he said. "He's an outstanding player and is playing really well. He has added goals to his game and turned it round.

"I probably watched Arsenal last year more than most and he was struggling for a bit of form and the crowd sometimes lost patience with him. For him to show the courage to get his performance levels high, full credit to him.

"The business with Ryan Shawcross was a long time ago and everyone acknowledges it was unfortunate that a player was badly injured. It was not intentional.

"It's unfortunate the matter gets brought up every time Stoke play Arsenal. Thankfully, the boy has been able to get back to an even higher level."

In the search for more goals at the other end of the pitch, Hughes has offered encouragement to Kenwyne Jones that his long-term future may lie in the Potteries.

The striker has long been linked with a move from the Britannia Stadium but the change of manager has brought an improvement in fortunes.

"Kenwyne is doing really well and giving me good presence at the top end of the pitch," he added. "All that's lacking is goals in the Premier League.

"If we continue to create chances, he will take some because he's one of those players who scores one and then scores more. I'm sure he will score goals for me."

Jones is the subject of conjecture over a possible new contract and Hughes said: "The nearer you get to the end of a player's contract, the more the power shifts to the player and his agent.

"He has been out of the picture at times and it's in his interests to play well and try to get a new contract. He's doing fine and has a great personality." 

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