Thursday, 30 May 2013

Hughes replaces Pulis at Stoke

Stoke City have appointed their second successive Welsh manager with the announcement Mark Hughes is to replace Tony Pulis.

The former Wales national boss has been out of work since being sacked by QPR back in November, and has welcomed the chance to get back in to football management. His appointment hasn’t been universally welcomed by supporters at the Britannia Stadium, but he spoke about proving the doubters wrong in his opening press conference and thanked the Coates family, who own the club, for his chance.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be here at Stoke. 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 don't regret moving to QPR. A lot of managers have gone in there and found it difficult. It was tough, and mistakes were made. I made mistakes and other people made mistakes too. I was given the task of keeping them in the Premier League and thankfully I did that. Twelve games later though I lost my job, because we didn't get the results we wanted at that time.”

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

He also paid tribute to his predecessor, adding: “Tony enjoyed huge success here, and because of that I have a better chance of succeeding here. He has left a very good club behind him. He has done a wonderful job.”

Since leaving the Welsh job to take over at Blackburn Rovers, the North Walian also spent time at Manchester City and Fulham before taking the reins at QPR.

He of course had a stellar playing career which took in stints at Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, among others.

Newport-born Pulis had been at Stoke since 2006 for his second spell managing the club, taking over while Hughes was at Blackburn.

He guided the club back in to the top flight for the first time in 23 years and helped them establish themselves at the top table. They reached their first FA Cup final in 2011, going down 1-0 to Manchester City, before embarking on their first ever European adventure in the Europa League, eventually falling to Spanish giants Valencia.


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