Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has defended his record at Manchester City ahead of this weekend's fixture between the sides.
The Welshman took charge of the Etihad Stadium outfit in June 2008, but was relieved of his duties in December 2009 and replaced by Roberto Mancini.
Hughes, though, feels that his tenure at the club was a success, and that his removal was as much down to a change of ownership than a lack of results.
"I enjoyed my time at Manchester City," he said ahead of Saturday's fixture. "It was difficult as it was a big time of change for the club, but I think I can look back upon my time there and be pleased with what we achieved.
"The season that I got the sack we had lost two games in 17, so it wasn't too bad. The owners wanted to make a change and bring in their own man though, and that is football I guess."
Hughes arrived at Stoke in the close-season to replace former manager Tony Pulis, and he has had an immediate impact.
The club head into the game having recorded back-to-back Premier League wins against Crystal Palace and West Ham, as well as a 3-1 League Cup triumph over Walsall.
Now Hughes is eagerly anticipating a difficult challenge against City, and he concedes that he wishes the side's momentum had not been halted by the international break.
"I'm really looking forward to the game," he continued. "It's a big test and, if we are honest, we would have liked to have played it straight after the West Ham game having won three on the bounce.
"We want to carry the momentum on, and we are looking forward to the game.
"Manchester City have an outstanding team, they have world class players all over the pitch.
"We are playing well ourselves though so it is a test we are really looking forward to."
New signing Marko Arnautovic is line to make his first appearance for the club, after the striker joined from Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day.
But Hughes admitted that he has yet to decide whether the Austrian will start the game, adding: "Marko Arnautovic is a very exciting player. He is strong, he is fast and he is technically very talented.
"He has only had a couple of sessions so I will make a decision on whether he starts the game or comes off the bench on Saturday.
"He has the qualities to help us in the game for sure."
|Coach: M. Hughes|
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