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Get into top six or face sack, Hughes warned by Thaksin

 

· City owner demands place in Europe at first attempt

· New manager gets £ 50m for signings this summer

 

Mark Hughes

 

Mark Hughes only received a lukewarm welcome from Manchester City supporters due to his ties with Old Trafford. Photograph: Michael Regan/Action Images

 

Mark Hughes is under instructions to supply Thaksin Shinawatra with a minimum top-six finish, and qualification for Europe, at Manchester City if he wants to avoid the same fate as Sven-Goran Eriksson. Hughes, whose appointment was confirmed yesterday, has been left in no doubt that the owner will not tolerate anything but a concerted effort to gatecrash the Premier League's "big four".

 

Thaksin's refusal to countenance anything less led to Eriksson being paid off after one season and Hughes will be under even more pressure given the amount of money at his disposal this summer. A club-record deal for Jo, the Brazilian striker, has been arranged with CSKA Moscow, at a cost of £18m, and Hughes has identified David Bentley as his next target, with City preparing a bid of about £7m for a player who has only a year remaining on his contract at Hughes' former club, Blackburn Rovers.

 

In total Thaksin will make about £50m available to Hughes and the Thai's associates are still in advanced talks with Ronaldinho, a proposed deal that has been laughed off all around the world but which is being treated with deadly seriousness in the City boardroom. Hughes will, in effect, have more to spend this summer than any manager bar Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and whoever chooses to replace Avram Grant at Chelsea.

 

With that, however, comes a form of pressure that he will rarely have experienced at Blackburn or in his previous job in charge of Wales. Thaksin has shown he is not only wealthy but ruthless and it has been made clear to Hughes that he must deliver a significant return. To put the manager's task in context, City have not finished in the Premier League's top six since its inception and last finished that high in the top flight in 1992.

 

As a former Manchester United player with an illustrious past at Old Trafford, Hughes has received only a lukewarm welcome from City supporters. He has signed a three-year contract after meeting the club's new executive chairman, Garry Cook, in London on Tuesday night, when it was pressed upon him that the club wanted a quick answer.

 

By then a compensation package had been agreed with Blackburn but City's concern was that Hughes was holding out in the belief that he was second to Carlo Ancelotti on Peter Kenyon's shortlist at Chelsea. It soon transpired that Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's owner, did not share his chief executive's view and Hughes was able to give Cook the speedy answer that had been requested.

 

"I am delighted to welcome Mark on board," said Cook. "In our view he is the brightest young manager in the game. He made it clear to us from the moment we met that he shared our vision and ambition to make City one of the top sides in the country."

 

Cook, previously an executive for Nike, went on to describe Hughes as "always our No1 target" which was being economical with the truth, to say the least, given that Thaksin spent several weeks trying to persuade Portugal's coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, to accept the job. What cannot be disputed, however, is that Hughes's appointment represents an early success for Cook at the end of an unstable period that is likely to see the club's chief executive, Alistair Mackintosh, move on before the start of next season.

 

Hughes will be unveiled at a 9.30am news conference today while Blackburn set about bringing in a replacement, with Sam Allardyce, Paul Ince, Steve McClaren and Gordon Strachan in contention.

 

Blackburn's chairman, John Williams, said of Hughes: "He leaves the club in a strong position with three consecutive top-10 finishes and an excellent squad. In turn, we have helped Mark to establish himself as one of the most sought-after young British managers in the business, having previously had no club management experience. We wish him well. We would have liked him to stay but he made it clear he wanted a fresh challenge."

Road to Eastlands

 

1984 Makes Manchester United and Wales debuts. Goes on to win 72 caps

 

1985 Wins the FA Cup with United

 

1986 Joins Barcelona for £2m and goes to Bayern Munich a year later

 

1988 Returns to United for a then club-record £1.8m. Wins two league titles, two more FA Cups, the League Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup

 

1995 Joins Chelsea and helps them to an FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup

 

1998 Joins Southampton and then Everton

 

1999 Appointed Wales coach after Bobby Gould resigns

 

2000 Joins Blackburn Rovers

 

2002 Retires from playing aged 39, then manages Wales to a 2-1 victory over Italy in Cardiff in Euro 2004 qualifying

 

2003 Wales fail to qualify for Euro 2004 after play-off defeat to Russia

 

2004 Appointed Blackburn manager. Keeps them up in first season and goes on to post three top-10 finishes

 

June 4 2008 Appointed Manchester City manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does anyone think this is a realistic goalH?

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Gone by Christmas.

 

Really?....................I`d have thought two seasons given the current squad plus a spending kitty would be quite realistic.

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

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maybe next season we will finally get a different top 6 , can see everton and villa pushing on , hughes will be foreced to try and break it with city , we want in there and hopefully with decent investment we can have a crack , and pompy may push on again this season .

 

ive not seen any club bar newcastle make up as much ground in the prem in such a short time tho , even with bobby we found ourselves at the other end of the table with just a few key signings . dont wanna make any predictions untill i see what keegans backed like tho , the kind of push we need , takes a few major signings to light up the place and then keegan to run with it .

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

 

So is Hughes better than Sven or luckier? :yes

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maybe next season we will finally get a different top 6 , can see everton and villa pushing on , hughes will be foreced to try and break it with city , we want in there and hopefully with decent investment we can have a crack , and pompy may push on again this season .

 

ive not seen any club bar newcastle make up as much ground in the prem in such a short time tho , even with bobby we found ourselves at the other end of the table with just a few key signings . dont wanna make any predictions untill i see what keegans backed like tho , the kind of push we need , takes a few major signings to light up the place and then keegan to run with it .

 

 

Your transfer activities will be very interesting as I think you could be dark horses given your late spurt this season. I think Everton will slide out of it and Villa could replace them as 5th. Imo it`s between Villa, Citeh, Pompey and you lot or spurs...............will be interesting. A good start will mean a lot.

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Guest alex
You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

 

So is Hughes better than Sven or luckier? :yes

Surprised you want to re-open that debate, given the two week huff you had after you couldn't back your argument up.

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

 

So is Hughes better than Sven or luckier? :D

Surprised you want to re-open that debate, given the two week huff you had after you couldn't back your argument up.

 

I won that one :yes (as you later admitted :razz: ), everything else was simply "super-villain" logic with being "told" I had to agree (or not disagree) and not surprisingly it had the expected result.

 

Although I take it all that means you think he's better than Sven.

 

Oh and see my sig too! :)

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Guest alex
You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

 

So is Hughes better than Sven or luckier? :D

Surprised you want to re-open that debate, given the two week huff you had after you couldn't back your argument up.

 

I won that one :yes (as you later admitted :razz: ), everything else was simply "super-villain" logic with being "told" I had to agree (or not disagree) and not surprisingly it had the expected result.

 

Although I take it all that means you think he's better than Sven.

 

Oh and see my sig too! :)

Given that my argument was that he wasn't lucky, surely even you should have been able been able to realise that my comment on his luck having run out was me taking the piss out of you. Or perhaps not. "Super victim" surely btw.

Edited by alex

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You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

 

So is Hughes better than Sven or luckier? :)

Surprised you want to re-open that debate, given the two week huff you had after you couldn't back your argument up.

 

I won that one :yes (as you later admitted :D ), everything else was simply "super-villain" logic with being "told" I had to agree (or not disagree) and not surprisingly it had the expected result.

 

Although I take it all that means you think he's better than Sven.

 

Oh and see my sig too! :icon_lol:

Given that my argument was that he wasn't lucky, surely even you should have been able been able to realise that my comment on his luck having run out was me taking the piss out of you. Or perhaps not. "Super victim" surely btw.

 

So Hughes is the better manager then, IYO. :razz:

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Guest alex
You'd have thought Sven would have gotten at least that too though.

 

Hughes seems more dedicated though, Sven is just along for the ride to pick up a few million here and there...........

Sven didn't jump, he was pushed. I meant the chairman seems trigger happy. I'm pretty sure Bizza meant he'd be sacked. Christmas seems a bit soon though.

 

 

I reckon Hughes could well take 5th if he can hold on to the squad he has and has a few million to spend.

They've got a decent chance, aye.

 

So is Hughes better than Sven or luckier? :)

Surprised you want to re-open that debate, given the two week huff you had after you couldn't back your argument up.

 

I won that one :yes (as you later admitted :D ), everything else was simply "super-villain" logic with being "told" I had to agree (or not disagree) and not surprisingly it had the expected result.

 

Although I take it all that means you think he's better than Sven.

 

Oh and see my sig too! :icon_lol:

Given that my argument was that he wasn't lucky, surely even you should have been able been able to realise that my comment on his luck having run out was me taking the piss out of you. Or perhaps not. "Super victim" surely btw.

 

So Hughes is the better manager then, IYO. :razz:

Where did I say that?

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Where did I say that?

So you think he'll finish lower than Sven then?

He may well build upon what Sven has done and finish higher. He might not. Either way, it wouldn't define his managerial career and it wouldn't make him better than Sven if he did manage the former. I hope that's cleared things up for you.

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Where did I say that?

So you think he'll finish lower than Sven then?

He may well build upon what Sven has done and finish higher. He might not. Either way, it wouldn't define his managerial career and it wouldn't make him better than Sven if he did manage the former. I hope that's cleared things up for you.

 

Yes, you've managed a fighting retreat from your over extended position of opinion into a fortress of fence sitting quite well, bravo! :yes:razz:

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Where did I say that?

So you think he'll finish lower than Sven then?

He may well build upon what Sven has done and finish higher. He might not. Either way, it wouldn't define his managerial career and it wouldn't make him better than Sven if he did manage the former. I hope that's cleared things up for you.

 

Yes, you've managed a fighting retreat from your over extended position of opinion into a fortress of fence sitting quite well, bravo! :yes:razz:

I think Sven's a better manager but I can see Hughes finishing higher with City next season. I made the point above because you were trying to be clever with your 2+2=5 logic. Anything else you want me to clear up?

Also, point out where I've backtracked if you like.

Edited by alex

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Where did I say that?

So you think he'll finish lower than Sven then?

He may well build upon what Sven has done and finish higher. He might not. Either way, it wouldn't define his managerial career and it wouldn't make him better than Sven if he did manage the former. I hope that's cleared things up for you.

 

Yes, you've managed a fighting retreat from your over extended position of opinion into a fortress of fence sitting quite well, bravo! :yes:D

I think Sven's a better manager but I can see Hughes finishing higher with City next season. I made the point above because you were trying to be clever with your 2+2=5 logic. Anything else you want me to clear up?

Also, point out where I've backtracked if you like.

So you think Hughes is a luckier manager then? :razz:

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