Peter Odemwingie’s return from injury represented the main positive for Stoke City manager Mark Hughes in the wake of Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Sunderland.
Seeking a record Premier League points tally, Stoke had to settle for a share of the spoils at the Britannia Stadium, Charlie Adam cancelling out a first-minute opener from Connor Wickham.
Yet a boost was provided by the 80th-minute introduction of Odemwingie, who had been out since August after suffering a serious knee injury in a 1-0 win at Manchester City.
Hughes played down Odemwingie’s chances of earning a start before the end of the campaign, but suggested the 33-year-old forward is likely to get further chances as a substitute in the coming weeks.
“Among the disappointment [of not beating Sunderland], the really pleasing thing from our point of view is Peter Odemwingie coming back and getting on the pitch, having a good positive effect,” said Hughes.
“He’ll be better for that and we’re delighted that he’s able to come on and make an impact.
“It’s a little bit too soon for him in terms of his game time. He’s probably not ready to start games yet but he can impact games for us from now until the end of the season coming from the bench.”
Odemwingie joined Stoke from Cardiff City midway through last season and made an immediate impression with six goals in 15 Premier League appearances.