• Premier League

Jerome relishing life under Hughes

ESPN staff
July 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
The striker hoping for more chances under the new boss © Getty Images
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Cameron Jerome feels the arrival of Mark Hughes has spared him from being forced to leave the Britannia Stadium and given him a new lease of life at Stoke City.

Towards the end of last season under former manager Tony Pulis, Jerome hinted he may have to consider moving on to another club in search of more regular first team football.

On several occasions the striker complained about his lack of opportunities under Pulis and that he was not being given a "fair crack of the whip" when it came to team selection.

A host of Championship clubs expressed interest in Jerome in January and if Pulis had remained at Stoke the 26-year-old may well have left the club this summer after just 15 starts since he arrived from Birmingham City for £4 million two years ago.

But Hughes' arrival to replace Pulis has convinced Jerome there will be a more level playing field for all squad members to push their case for starting roles this season.

"With the old regime there was a guaranteed eleven who played and no matter how you trained, or if you came on and played well or did anything in the game, you were still never going to start," said Jerome.

"I think some of the lads who didn't play as much under the old regime won't be disheartened by the fact the new manager has come in.

"It's a new method and a new way of thinking. The place is vibrant and everyone seems to be happy with a spring in their step.

"It's not just the players, I think the staff are happier and everyone seems to be taking to their new roles.

"I am sure the manager will cast his eye over boys in training for the first two or three weeks and decide where he may need to strengthen, or he may be happy with what he's got.

"That's a decision for him but training has been really good and hard. There are 24 or 25 players, everyone is competing against each other and there are no guarantees."

Jerome is also relishing Hughes' commitment to a more attacking style this season, after the safety first methods of Pulis.

"The manager has different philosophies to the old manager. As a forward player, this is going to suit our game more than it would a defender's," said Jerome.

"You are always going to have to work hard on a football pitch, but to hear the manager wants to play more football, and more attacking football, is better for the forwards."

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