Stoke boss Mark Hughes backs Ryan Shawcross for England recall

Ryan Shawcross (right)
Shawcross, who began his career at Manchester United, moved to Stoke, initially on loan, in August 2007 and has made 322 appearances.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes captain Ryan Shawcross is good enough to play for England again but is not 'holding his breath' over a recall.

The 28-year-old centre-back won his only cap so far in a friendly against Sweden in November 2012.

"I haven't seen too many centre halves that understand the role of playing at the back like Ryan," Hughes said.

"Maybe international recognition will be forthcoming but we won't hold our breath on that."

Shawcross has only just returned to action following back surgery in September.

Since coming back into the side, Shawcross has helped the Potters see off Newcastle and beat Chelsea twice - including a League Cup victory on penalties.

"Ryan loves those challenges. You have to have physicality," Hughes added to BBC Sport.

"You have to be able to match the challenge of world-class strikers and Diego Costa's undoubtedly certainly that. Ryan showed his qualities and gave a good account of himself.

"He continues to be overlooked at international level. He's obviously been out injured but, if he keeps his fitness and form which he's doing exceptionally well at the moment, then who knows?"

Jack Butland (left) and Mark Hughes (right)
Mark Hughes (right) has seen his goalkeeper Jack Butland become the first Stoke player since Ryan Shawcross to play for England

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