Thursday 30 May 2013

Mark Hughes named new Stoke City manager

Former Queens Park Rangers manager succeeds Tony Pulis at the Britannia Stadium

New Stoke City manager Mark Hughes was presented to the media on Thursday

Stoke City have appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The 49-year-old Welshman, whose contract at Queens Park Rangers was terminated last November, succeeds Tony Pulis at the Britannia Stadium.

Hughes, a former Manchester United and Chelsea striker, has also been in charge of Wales, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Fulham.

"I am absolutely delighted to be here at Stoke," he said. "The Coates family have given me this opportunity and I am really grateful. They have looked at my career as a whole, and I am delighted to have the opportunity of working with great people.

"I have always been at clubs with good expectations and it is something that I enjoy"
Mark Hughes

"We want to hit the ground running. We will have a good pre-season, put some good quality work in and hopefully get off on the right tracks. We want to get into the top 10 consistently. That is the aim.

"There's a strong squad of players here. It's not a case of me coming in here and wiping away all of the hard work that the club have done. If anything I will hope to make the team more adventurous. I like to score goals."

Hughes, who won two League titles and three FA Cups with Manchester United, started his managerial career in 1999 when he was appointed Wales coach before joining Blackburn in 2004. After keeping Rovers in the Barclays Premier League, he led the club to three successive top-10 finishes.

The 49-year-old replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson at Manchester City in June 2008 and guided the team to 10th but was replaced by Roberto Mancini in December 2009 with City in sixth. Hughes then moved to London in the summer of 2010 and led Fulham to eighth place before leaving the club in June 2011.

He was appointed QPR manager in January 2012, replacing Neil Warnock, and although he kept the team in the top flight, he left Loftus Road in November after a disappointing start to the 2012/13 campaign.

"We have analysed everything he has done and we feel that he has a fantastic record as a manager"
Peter Coates

"I've had something like 270 games as a Premier League manager, but people do tend to look at the last year or so," Hughes said. "If anything it gives me greater determination to go out there and prove people wrong.

"I have always been at clubs with good expectations and it is something that I enjoy. Maybe occasionally it has hit me on the backside because my ambitions have been too high. I am determined to move this club forward."

Hughes takes over a club that has been in the Premier League since 2008 and that finished 13th last season.

"We have thought long and hard about this decision and we have the man that we feel is the right fit for this football club," said Stoke City chairman Peter Coates. "We have given the decision a great deal of thought and we have analysed to death Mark's career. We are satisfied that his CV is very, very impressive.

"We have analysed everything he has done and we feel that he has a fantastic record as a manager. We looked at what he did at Fulham, and Blackburn in particular. They are similar clubs to us in many ways, and we feel that he is coming here into a similar environment.

"There is no new direction here at the club. What we are trying to do is have a professional structure for the scouting and recruitment of players, to give the manager the best opportunity of bringing in the right players. To clarify, Mark will have the decisive say on who goes in and who goes out, in terms of players."

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Key Points

  • Mark Hughes appointed Stoke City manager
  • Former QPR manager succeeds Tony Pulis at the Britannia Stadium
  • 49-year-old has also managed Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Fulham in the Barclays Premier League