Hughes hails hat-trick hero Walters

Jonathan Walters' hat-trick against QPR in the Premier League earned rave reviews from Stoke City boss Mark Hughes.

Mark Hughes paid tribute to the professionalism of Jonathan Walters after his hat-trick guided Stoke City to a 3-1 win over QPR on Saturday.

Walters became the first Stoke player to record a treble in the Premier League when he headed home in stoppage time at the Britannia Stadium, adding to his two first-half strikes.

The 31-year-old has not always been a first-team regular this season under Hughes, but after his 'perfect' hat-trick the Stoke boss hinted he may still earn a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in June.

He said: "On the day he was magnificent, a credit to his profession, he gives everything every game and on his 200th appearance it was fitting he won the game for us.

"He's going the right way about it [getting a new deal], I'm sure they'll be discussions nearer the time.

"I'm just delighted for him, he probably doesn't get enough credit for what he does on the field, his ability is second to none."

Hughes felt Stoke deserved to take all three points from Harry Redknapp's side on the day, but rued a defensive slip that gave the visitors hope before Walters completed his treble.

"We're pleased with the result, performance wise it was not a great game, but it was difficult for both teams," he added.

"I thought we used conditions well, we were good value at 2-0 and probably could have had more, but then a lapse allowed them to get a goal back.

"Thankfully, we repelled everything they put into the box and in the end it was fitting that Walters has scored the third goal to take the game away from them."