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I'd go up against my own granny! - Hughes has no problem with Whelan-Allen clash

Mark Hughes insists he has no concerns about a clash between Stoke City duo Glenn Whelan and Joe Allen on international duty, claiming his own competitive nature would have seen him tackle his own grandmother.

Whelan and Allen were involved in an altercation during the tempestuous 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw between Republic of Ireland and Wales on March 24.

Team-mate Erik Pieters stressed that there was no bad blood between the midfielders and Hughes says they trained as normal on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of Stoke's Premier League clash with Leicester City on Saturday, Hughes said: "I would go up against my granny if she was in the opposition!

"They are team-mates who enjoy each other's company but as international rivals... I've got no problem. They were in the same group yesterday, talking and chatting and no problems at all."

Striker Saido Berahino claimed this week that a failed drugs test towards the end of his West Brom days was as a result of a drink being spiked during a night out.

Berahino has yet to score in an underwhelming spell at the bet365 Stadium to date but Hughes insists everyone at the club wants to move on from his off-field problems.

"That's always been Saido's stance and we've got no reason not to believe him," he said when asked about Berahino's claims. "From the first time we spoke to Saido that's always been his stance and he's never wavered. In this day and age you can believe that it can happen.

"It happened in the past; we're all moving on. He's playing football again, doing well. He's been a big part in recent weeks against very good opposition. We're hoping to create more chances for him. It's only a matter of time."

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There was more unwelcome news for Stoke fans surrounding Xherdan Shaqiri, with Hughes admitting that the Switzerland international is likely to miss the next two games with a worrisome calf problem.

"We've got to get to the bottom of these calf problems," he said. "It's a little bit of a concern to be perfectly honest. At the moment, when he steps things up, he gets set-backs.

"I don't think he'll need an operation. He gets a bit of discomfort. He's got to have the means to be able to overcome that.

"We don't anticipate it will be too long. He won't be available for Burnley but maybe Liverpool."

However, Hughes did confirm that goalkeeper Jack Butland is progressing well as he looks to recover full fitness following a serious ankle injury.

"He's looking good, in a good place," Hughes added. "He's had set-backs in the past so maybe we're a little bit cautious.

"He had a whole pre-season then still broke down so we're not getting ahead of ourselves. It shouldn't be too long and he's very confident and looking forward to getting going."