Ex United star: Januzaj doesn't need protection, needs to get tough!

Stoke City manager implies referees shouldn't have to protect prospects as, instead, they should stand on their feet - like Manchester United wonderkid.

Teenage phenom Adnan Januzaj has been one of the beams of light in an otherwise overcast Manchester United season as the 18-year-old, who has created nine chances and returned a brace of goals in his 616 minutes of Premier League football to date this year, has dazzled with his fearless dribbling ability and penchant for visionary through balls.

As such, David Moyes has called on referees to help 'protect' Januzaj as opponents seemingly attempt to get physical with the player, highlighted perhaps by Fulham's Sascha Riether who was charged with violent conduct in early November due to an alleged stamping.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes, himself a United break-out star in the 1980s, counters Moyes' assertion and claims, instead, that Januzaj needs to 'stand on his own two feet'.

As quoted by Sky Sports, Hughes said: 'A manager will always protect his players and he is an outstanding talent and will be a top United player for many years to come… but you have to let kids stand on their two feet and get on with it.'

Hughes welcomes Januzaj and Manchester United to Stoke later this evening, Wednesday, as the two sides collide in the League Cup quarter-final.

image: © joncandy

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