Adnan Januzaj
Adnan Januzaj needs to stand tall against all Premier League opposition, Mark Hughes claims.Reuters

Stoke City manager and former Manchester United striker Mark Hughes has claimed that Adnan Januzaj needs to learn to stand up for himself as the winger continues to be targeted.

Januzaj has enjoyed his breakthrough season for United and at just 18 years of age has proven to be an important part of the line-up as the side adjust to life without Sir Alex Ferguson.

As his physical development continues incoming manager David Moyes was quick to comment that the teen needs more protection from the referees after be subject to some rough treatment this season.

But as Stoke prepare to play United in the Capital One Cup tonight Hughes says that Januzaj needs to stand his ground.

"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," Hughes told Sky Sports.

"If David feels the boy needs protection that is why he has given the response he did, but you have to let kids stand on their two feet and get on with it.

"He seems to garner a lot of fouls and a lot of decisions. In our game he came on as sub and got about five fouls in a very short space of time. At the time I didn't think they were fouls."

The Welshman, who featured for Ferguson for seven years in his second stint with United before becoming a manager, claimed that Ryan Giggs would also be a good influence on the youngster who is still learning the ropes in the Premier League football.

"Ryan was playing in the Lancashire A and B leagues and had to go to the likes of Marine away," he explained.

"When you are a 14-year-old kid coming up against men you learn to deal with that early and I don't think it is a bad thing.

"I would imagine he (Giggs) is mentoring him now because he's been in the same place."