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Stoke appoint Hughes as manager

30 May 2013 09:02

Mark Hughes has been named new manager of Stoke City.

Hughes has signed a three-year deal to replace Tony Pulis, whose seven-year stay with the English Premier League club ended on May 21.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to get the opportunity, I'm really grateful. I'm pleased that (chairman Peter Coates) looked beyond my last position and has taken my career as a manager as a whole.

"With the passion in the area, this is very much a local club that's very much close to its community and I understand that greatly.

"Whenever I've been to Stoke as an opposition manager the passion for the team has been evident to me and I just can't wait to get started and put a team on the pitch they can be proud of."

Pulis' reign was ended by mutual consent after Stoke finished 13th in the English Premier League this season, six points clear of the relegation zone.

The 55-year-old took the Staffordshire outfit to the Premier League in 2008 and has kept them in the top-flight comfortably, even embarking on a UEFA Europa League campaign in the 2011-12 season.

Former Fulham, Blackburn and Manchester City manager Hughes has been out of a job since being sacked by QPR in November 2012.

Having replaced Neil Warnock in January of that year, the London club snatched unlikely Premier League safety with five consecutive home wins, despite an incredible 3-2 defeat at Man City on the last day of the season.

Things turned sour the following campaign, however, as Hughes led QPR to their worst ever start to a Premier League season, going without a win in their first 12 games and he was sacked, with Harry Redknapp brought in to replace him.

Hughes' appointment has already drawn criticism, with Stoke City's Supporters Club saying on Wednesday the 49-year-old was not their 'first choice'.

A fans spokesman told BBC Sport: "It is not just me, it is the thoughts of 90 percent of Stoke fans.

"He is not a long-term appointment, look at his track record, but it looks as though he is going to be appointed anyway."

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Premier League table

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