Premier League

Hughes named new Stoke manager

Mark Hughes poses with a Stoke shirt after being appointed manager.
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Former Wales coach Mark Hughes has been appointed Stoke boss on a three-year deal.

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Hughes, who most recently managed QPR and was sacked by the club last November, was confirmed as the Potters' new boss at a press conference alongside chairman Peter Coates.

"I'm absolutely delighted to get the opportunity," Hughes said.

"The Coates family have given me this opportunity and I'm really grateful. I'm pleased they have done their due diligence and looked beyond my last position and taken my career as a manager as a whole. I have the opportunity to work with good people.

"With the passion in the area, this is very much a local club that's close to its community. The passion and real desire from the crowd for the team is obvious."

Hughes, 49, spoke about his time at QPR which ended with Harry Redknapp taking the reins after their poor start which culminated in their eventual relegation to the Championship.

"It was difficult at QPR and a lot of managers have gone in there and found it difficult," Hughes said.

"Their turnover of managers, not just in the last 18 months, but historically has been high. It was difficult and mistakes were made.

"I made mistakes which I learned from but I felt I was given the task of keeping them in the Premier League which I managed to do.

"I had 17 games to do that and 12 games later I lost my job.

"It was a difficult situation with a lot of chances and if we are honest with ourselves we tried to run before we could walk.

"From my point of view it's all about the here and now and moving Stoke forward."

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The former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss hailed Pulis for the work he has done with stabilising the club over the last seven years, but said he will be looking to bring more entertaining football to the Potteries.

"It's a big decision that has been made and I understand the success Tony had enables me to have a better chance," Hughes added.

"He's put things in place to make the club more stable and is conducive to being in the Premier League and I will reap the benefits of that.

"Stoke have been in the Premier League for a number of years now and have the understanding of what it takes to win Premier League games.

"It's not a case of wiping away the hard work of previous seasons. I'd like to make then a little bit more offensive but we're not going to chuck the baby out with the bathwater. It's about steady progress.

"Sometimes you get labelled with a certain way of playing. I can only take the club forward as I know and my philosophy is to play football, the play good football, make chances and make it entertaining for the fans who pay good money to come and see us."

Stoke chairman Peter Coates explained his decision to pick Hughes as the replacement for the long-serving Pulis.

"We've analysed to death Mark's career and we can you everything about it, what he's done and what he hasn't done," Coates said.

"His CV is very impressive and he's the right fit for us. We have analysed everything he has done and think he has an outstanding record as a football manager.

"The way we've looked at it, we look at Fulham and Blackburn in particular. We think they are in similar in many ways to us, well-run football clubs and we think he will be coming to Stoke City in the same kind of environment and we believe he will be just what we are looking for."

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Coates called Hughes' spell at QPR a "blip" but moved to put it in context.

"The way we have looked at QPR, they had new ownership, new people working on the admin side of the club, new executives. Football is difficult when you have been around a long time like I have and your club has got lots of experience. They didn't have that," Coates said.

"They had three exceptional managers; Neil Warnock, Mark and Harry Redknapp and I don't think anyone would argue that they aren't pretty solid, good managers who knew what they were doing.

"I would remind people that Mark, in his first year at QPR, they changed managers because things weren't going right and Mark came in and he did save them from relegation.

"That's how we've seen QPR and we have focused on what is right for us.

"Like any club we want to move forward and we think Mark is the right person to do that."

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