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Stoke better under Hughes, says N´Zonzi

Midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has welcomed Stoke City’s change in style this season under Mark Hughes.

Former Stoke boss Tony Pulis brought N’Zonzi to the Britannia Stadium from Blackburn Rovers in 2012.

Although the 25-year-old featured regularly under Pulis, who departed Stoke at the end of last season and now manages Crystal Palace, he prefers the approach implemented by Hughes.

A greater emphasis on keeping possession has been a feature of Hughes’ reign to date and N’Zonzi was among the goalscorers in a 4-1 win at Aston Villa on Sunday that lifted Stoke to 10th.

“I was happy last season, even if it was a different type of play, but this season it is true, I enjoy it better,” N’Zonzi told The Sentinel.

“I like it better because it is what I was used to when I was a boy, and that is what we are trying to do with Mark Hughes.

“It takes time to do it better than we did it before, but in the last two games (a 3-1 win over West Ham and last weekend’s triumph against Villa) we did it.”

Despite expressing satisfaction at Stoke’s progress, N’Zonzi remains non-committal over his future plans.

“I am happy here – let’s focus on this season, that is the most important,” he added.

“Everybody is talking about what will happen next season, but as a player you do not know. You just focus on this season.”

Wed 26 March, 2014
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