Great Jonathan Walters the fall guy at Stoke City, says Kevin Kilbane

Stoke Britannia Stadium

The striker scored in his side's clash with Watford on Saturday.

Jonathan Walters is something of a fall guy at Stoke City, despite enjoying a great campaign, Kevin Kilbane has told BBC Sport.

The Republic of Ireland striker has found himself down the pecking order at the Britannia Stadium as Mark Hughes has opted for others in the striker’s role.

He has often called on Walters when his side have struggled though, and did again this week as he returned for the game away at Watford.

The striker proved his worth as well as he bagged the opening goal of the game, and Kilbane says he thinks the player is something of a fallout guy at the club.

"Mark Hughes always seems to go back to Jon Walters. It's almost like he's Hughes' default plan when they're struggling for results,” he told BBC Sport.

“Walters has done a great job particularly for Republic of Ireland this year. I think he's had a good season and maybe he's a bit of the fallout guy.”

“He's the one that get's left out for your Xherdan Shaqiri's and your Joselus but he's done a good job."

It is certainly an interesting debate about Walters given the way his style somewhat clashes with the way Mark Hughes wants his side to play.

The Welshman has been keen to get his side playing more attractive football during his time in charge, moving away from their Tony Pulis days.

Walters though, was one of the embodiments of that former reign, something that has seen him struggle to get regular game time since Hughes came in.

He has impressed when given his chance though, as he did on Saturday, presenting his manager with something of a conundrum over his selection.

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