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Mark Hughes reveals Fulham regret

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has admitted that he made a mistake in walking out on Fulham two years ago.

Mark Hughes was baffled by Stoke's poor performance against Norwich.
Hughes left after one season at Craven Cottage.

Whittaker: Do talking on pitch
Mison: Jol on brink

Hughes will return to Craven Cottage this weekend with his new club, dredging up memories of his acrimonious departure from the club in June 2011.

The Welshman turned down the possibility to sign a new two-year contract with then owner Mohammed Al Fayed and chose to activate a break clause in his deal -- before he eventually ended up in his ill-fated spell with Queens Park Rangers.

Hughes has previously spoken at length about his problems at QPR, but in his pre-match media conference ahead of the trip to West London admitted ruing his decision to leave Fulham in the first place.

"In hindsight maybe I should not have left Fulham when I did," he said. "That is something I have thought about. I had such a fantastic time at the club and I felt that we had a great season.

"We finished eighth in the Premier League and we had some good times. I view my team there as a success. I hope that most Fulham fans think that too, but I don't feel that I have anything to prove to them."

The Welshman's successor, Martin Jol, now finds himself under pressure after a poor start to the season.

Speculation has already emerged that Fulham's new owner, Shad Khan, is considering making a change and Martin O'Neill has been linked as a possible successor to the Dutchman.

Hughes is aware of the rumours concerning Jol's future, but he is more concerned about repairing the damage caused by last Sunday's 1-0 home defeat by Norwich City and has echoed his players by reiterating there is no rift in his dressing room, after suggestions of a bust-up between Ryan Shawcross and Kenwyne Jones.

"No rift between Kenwyne and Ryan happened," he said. "I don't know why the reporter wrote what he did and I am more interested in putting things right with a good result.

"It was disappointing not to reach the levels we had reached earlier in the season and we need to put that right.

"There is a sense of disappointment in the air with the players, but they are a good group and we want to look forward and put things right, but we are under no illusions that it will be difficult."


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