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Friday 30 August Updated Thursday 19 February

The Opposition View - Chris Kamara

Having played for and managed Stoke City, Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara is well-placed to know what new Potters boss Mark Hughes is going through as he gets to grips with life at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke arrive in east London on Saturday with three points from their opening two Barclays Premier League fixtures and Kamara expects them to give the Hammers a stern test.

He also envisages a gradual change in the style of play under the new boss.

He said: "It has all changed [at Stoke this summer]. Tony Pulis did such a wonderful job, but sometimes you have a sell-by date and I think he realised that himself.

"He was trying to improve the squad in terms of quality season-on-season and he was with the faces, but the football wasn't changing.

"I think the chairman and himself decided between them that he'd done such a wonderful job, quit while he's ahead and that's given Mark Hughes the opportunity to come in.

"I think anybody taking over there would have a really good chance because they have got really good players.

"I'm not going to criticise Tony in any way, shape or form because what he did was effective. They got results and never were in any danger of going down from the league, and were always competitive in the league.

"Mark Hughes is going to change the philosophy, they're going to play a bit more, have a go, but sometimes you have to wait and see, give him his chance. Mark Hughes did a good job at Blackburn Rovers, but he's not at Blackburn any more, he's at Stoke, and he has to prove himself again after QPR."

"They'll be tough to beat, that's one thing for certain. There's no easy games in the Premier League, no matter who you play.

"For West Ham, Sam's done some really good business. To get Carroll and Downing was really good, and I don't see any reason why they can't better their 10th place finish from last year."

Stoke

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