Crouch: Stoke City went old school in draw vs. Manchester United
Peter Crouch admitted Stoke had to go "back to the old school" and could have been rewarded with three points against Manchester United.
Ryan Shawcross turned in Crouch’s header for an early opener but Radamel Falcao’s goal earned United a 1-1 draw, Crouch hit the post and was denied a penalty when another header from a corner hit Chris Smalling’s hand.
And he told Sky Sports 1: "I know I won the header cleanly, it was on target and Smalling had his hands up. I thought it was a definite penalty but I’d have to see it again. We had chances, we’ve hit the post, we would have liked to have won it but in the scheme of things maybe a draw was fair."
He added: ‘With the conditions today it was a little bit back to the old-school days. It’s another string to our bow, we’ve got good players now and we can get the ball down and play but we are strong at set-pieces – although we conceded from one today, which was disappointing."
United manager Louis van Gaal revealed Ashley Young could be out for "many weeks" after he limped off with a hamstring injury, but added: "I’m not a doctor so we have to wait for Friday or the day after."
The Dutchman admitted his side "had difficulties defending long balls" in an awkward swirling wind. Jonny Evans was particularly thankful to see former teammate Mame Biram Diouf miss a clear chance after the Northern Ireland international misjudged a long ball.
"It was scrappy, hard to judge the ball with the wind, but that’s the challenge for us," said Evans. "(Diouf) made a bit of a mess of it and I’m thankful for that."
Stoke boss Mark Hughes was frustrated by not just the handball appeal, but another penalty shout after Crouch’s header against the woodwork.
"We’ve had two penalties not given," he said. "The obvious one was when Crouch headed towards goal and Smalling basically batted the ball down. Then when Crouch hits the post, you see Geoff Cameron waiting to put the ball in and he gets taken out."
He said of his side’s overall performance: "Tactically we were spot-on, they found it very difficult to get their key players on the ball. I’m disappointed but pleased we’ve got more points on the board and a good performance once again."
Hughes also insisted there is "nothing" in reports linking Crouch with West Brom and former coach Tony Pulis, adding: "Peter’s a big part of what we do here." And he revealed playmaker Bojan will be out for another "10 days to a couple of weeks" with a hamstring problem.